NEW DELHI: German chancellor Angela Merkel arrived late Sunday night accompanied with six federal ministers, with the aim to make it easier for German firms to do business in India and prod New Delhi to do more on climate change.
Incidentally, Merkel has had to change her plane to a more Spartan Airbus A310 belonging to the German Military, after her official plane developed technical difficulties.
German media reported that she was forced to travel in a military cargo plane named after Kurt Schumacher, who headed the Social Democratic Party after the world war.
On Monday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Merkel will lead the third Indo-German Intergovernmental Consultations, which has been dubbed as a ‘join mini cabinet meeting’. This is most broad-based talks that Germany holds with any other country.
Namaste Chancellor Merkel! Warm welcome to you & the delegation. I look forward to fruitful discussions & strengthening India-Germany ties.— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) October 4, 2015
“The focus of the Intergovernmental Consultations will be on the areas of economy, security, vocational training, science, technology, clean energies, climate and development cooperation,” said a press release from the German embassy.
German ambassador Martine Ney had earlier indicated that Merkel will certainly be asking Modi to do more to improve business environment for firms especially on taxation and corruption.
A high ranking business delegation is also accompanying German chancellor.
She is also likely to ask India to resume talks for a free trade agreement, which had been stalled by New Delhi unhappy over a variety of terms.
Germany is India’s largest trading partner in European union, with bilateral trade standing at $17.9 billion in 2014.
Merkel, who was Germany’s negotiator to the Kyoto Protocol, will certainly be putting clean energy high on her agenda, with agreement on Clean Ganga expected to be signed. Germany is expected to ‘adopt’ three cities along the Ganga – Kanpur, Patna and Kolkata – to help in putting in place sanitation and water management technology.
An agreement in higher education is also expected to be signed which may finally conclude the controversy over german being taught in Kendriya Vidyalaya.
In the evening, she will leave for Bangalore, accompanied by Prime Minister Modi, with a full schedule on Tuesday.
She will visit the vocational training centre of German company Robert Bosch GmbH and then attend a business forum with German and Indian representatives. There will also be working lunch with high-ranking business leaders.