Manmohan Singh arrives in Berlin on three-day visit

Berlin, April 10 (IANS) Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, accompanied by a high-level delegation that includes five cabinet ministers, arrived here Wednesday on a three-day official visit.

External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid, Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma, Renewable Energy Minister Farooq Abdullah, Human Resource Development Minister M.M. Pallam Raju, and Science and Technology Minister S. Jaipal Reddy are members of the delegation.

The prime minister is visiting Germany at the invitation of Chancellor Angela Merkel.

This is Manmohan Singh's second visit to Germany in three years. He last visited Germany in December 2010.

The prime minister was given a red carpet welcome on his arrival at the Tegel Military Airport. The chief of protocol in the German foreign ministry, Jorgen Christian Mertens, received Manmohan Singh, his wife Gursharan Kaur, and the accompanying delegation at the airport.

The prime minister is scheduled to co-chair the second meeting of inter-governmental consultations with Chancellor Angela Merkel and witness signing of a series of accords in the areas of education, science and technology, and renewable energy.

"I intend to seek greater trade and investment ties with Germany as we continue to take steps to boost domestic investments, attract foreign investors and spur the economy back to its long term growth potential of 8 percent," the prime minister said in a statement just before his departure from New Delhi.

"Germany is also a key partner for us in areas like infrastructure, manufacturing, science and technology, higher education, vocational training and clean and renewable energy. We expect to sign a number of agreements and Memorandums of Understanding in these areas," he said.

(Gyanendra Kumar Keshri can be contacted at gyanendra.k@ians.in)

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