Manmohan Singh says Germany largest economic partner of India

Berlin, Apr. 11 (ANI): Asserting that economic ties have been a defining feature of the relationship between New Delhi and Berlin, Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh on Thursday said Germany is one of India's largest economic partners globally.

"I encouraged increased German participation in India's rapid economic growth and our plans to modernize and upgrade our manufacturing and infrastructure sectors. Our Infrastructure plans entail investment of a trillion dollars in the next five years. I also sought continuing openness and support to growing Indian presence in Germany, including in the services sector," said Dr. Singh.

"We agreed on the importance of an early conclusion of a balanced India-EU Broad Based Trade and Investment Agreement," he added.

In his statement to the media following the conclusion of 2nd round of India-Germany Inter-Governmental Consultations in Berlin, Dr. Singh said 'we look forward to expanded defence cooperation anchored in technology transfer, co-development and co-production in India'.

"High technology commerce would benefit from further easing of German export controls for India. The agreement today on scientific collaboration on technologies for civilian security adds a new dimension to our growing security cooperation. I am very happy that, following our discussion, we have agreed to set up a High Technology Partnership Group," he added.

Dr. Singh said inclusive growth, empowerment of people and sustainable development are key national priorities in India.

"Many of the agreements signed during this visit not only support these objectives, but also reflect the extraordinary breadth and diversity of our relationship. For instance, the Joint Declaration of Intent for development of Green Energy Corridors in India could be a milestone in our shared commitment to address 21st century challenges," he added.

Dr. Singh said it has been agreed that the persisting weakness in the global economy require concerted global response to stimulate recovery without adding to fiscal and financial risks.

"I am optimistic about European recovery and stability. I expressed our appreciation for Chancellor Merkel's leadership in dealing with the challenges in the Euro Zone. I also shared our government's resolve to restore India's own growth to our long-term trend line of 7.5 percent to 8 percent," he added.

Dr. Singh said Chancellor Angela Merkel and he had agreed to continue efforts through the G-4 for the reform of the United Nations Security Council to reflect the current realities.

"We also emphasised the importance of sustained international support to Afghanistan through its transition to a stable, peaceful and democratic future. We called for an end to violence in Syria and a peaceful resolution of the Iranian nuclear issue. We underlined our shared interest in peace and stability in the Asia Pacific region, including on the Korean peninsula," he added.

Dr. Singh said today's discussions have reinforced his conviction in a strong and vibrant future for the strategic partnership between the two democracies.

"Germany and India are factors of stability and prosperity in two key regions of the world. I have no doubt about the bright prospects of our partnership," he added.

Dr. Singh said the relationship between India and Germany draws strategic strength from the shared values, sensitivity to each other's aspirations and interests, a comprehensive bilateral relationship and growing international engagement.

"The high level of bilateral engagement in recent years has substantially and tangibly raised the quality of our cooperation across a broad range of areas," he added.

Dr. Singh, who expressed his delight to be back in Berlin, thanked the German Chancellor for hosting this second round of the Inter-Governmental Consultations.

"She has been as gracious in her hospitality, thoughtful in her views and deeply committed to the India-Germany Strategic Partnership as I have known her to be over the past eight years," he said. (ANI)

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