German Chancellor Olaf Scholz on Saturday underlined the importance of the proposed free trade agreement (FTA) between India and the European Union for boosting two-way trade and said he will personally get involved to see its early fruition.
After holding wide-ranging talks with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Scholz said the finalisation of the FTA and the investment protection pacts will contribute significantly to expand India-Germany trade as well.
The German Chancellor said he and the Indian prime minister are committed to finalising the deal.
"We want to further deepen trade relations between the European Union and India and this is why we speak strongly for the free trade agreement. It is an important topic and I will get personally involved to ensure that this does not drag on," he said.
Scholz said over 1,800 German companies are operating in India and have provided thousands of jobs.
"India has so much talent to offer and we want to benefit from that cooperation. We want to recruit and attract that talent in Germany. The development of IT and software is booming in India," Scholz said.
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He also said Germany wants deepening of trade relations between India and Europe.
In his media statement, Modi said Germany is also an important source of investment in India along with being its largest trading partner in Europe.
"Today, due to 'Make in India' and 'Aatmanirbhar Bharat' campaign, new opportunities are opening up in all sectors in India. The interest shown by Germany in these opportunities is very encouraging for us," Modi said.
Separately, Modi and Scholz interacted with top executives from Indian and German companies to discuss ways to deepen economic ties.
The focus areas for mutual cooperation include digital transformation, financial technology, IT and telecom.
"Held productive talks with Chancellor @OlafScholz. Our talks focussed on ways to boost India-Germany cooperation and further augment trade ties. We also agreed to deepen ties in renewable energy, green hydrogen and biofuels. Security cooperation was also discussed," Modi tweeted.
"Chancellor @OlafScholz and I met top CEOs to discuss ways to strengthen economic relations between our nations. Sectors like digital transformation, FinTech, IT and Telecom featured prominently in the meeting," he said.
India and Germany also unveiled a vision document to enhance cooperation in areas of innovation and technology.
It said India and Germany recognise the close ties that have been nurtured through the decades, reaffirmed in 2022 by the India-German Green and Sustainable Development Partnership (GSDP), and acknowledge the positive and proactive roles of the governments, institutions, academia and industry on both sides.
After his talks with Modi, the German Chancellor also visited Rajghat and paid his respects to Mahatma Gandhi by laying a wreath.
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