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Joint Statement - Third India Germany Inter-Governmental Consultations (IGC) in New Delhi (October 05, 2015)

October 05, 2015

At the third Inter-Governmental Consultations (IGC) held in New Delhi today, the Prime Minister of India Shri Narendra Modi and the German Federal Chancellor Dr. Angela Merkel agreed to steer the Strategic Partnership between India and Germany into a new phase by building on their growing convergence on foreign and security issues and on the complementarities between the two economies.

They welcomed the intensification of high-level engagement since the last IGC in 2013, with Prime Minister Modi's visits to Berlin and Hanover last April, and several Ministerial visits from both sides. They committed to maintaining the momentum of exchanges in the next two years. They noted that, fifteen years into the Strategic Partnership, Indo-German cooperation is founded on common democratic principles, marked by trust and mutual respect and geared towards building stability, prosperity and sustainable development through closer dialogue and cooperation in security, enhanced trade and investment, partnerships in manufacturing, skilling, clean energy, infrastructure, innovation and education. Looking ahead at the coming two years, India and Germany commit to an ambitious bilateral agenda to jointly pursue these goals.

Bolstering Security and Building a Stable Global Order

As strategic partners, India and Germany commit themselves to closer coordination, bilaterally and with partners, in the G20, the United Nations and other multilateral fora, to address existing and emerging challenges to international security, global economic stability and growth.

Both leaders underlined their strong support to upholding the sovereign equality of all States as well as respect for their territorial integrity. They reiterated their full support for ongoing efforts to find a diplomatic solution to the conflict in eastern Ukraine.

Both sides underlined the importance of freedom of navigation in international waters, the right of passage and other maritime rights in accordance with accepted principles of international law, including the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea. With regards to maritime sovereignty issues, they called upon all parties concerned to seek peaceful and cooperative solutions in accordance with international law and practice.

India and Germany emphasized their commitment to the reconstruction of a stable and peaceful Afghanistan. They underlined that the Heart of Asia process remains an important format for regional confidence building and regional political cooperation.

As a strategic partner of ASEAN, India supports the steps taken by the EU and ASEAN towards building a strategic partnership. Germany and India commit to explore potential synergies and cooperation opportunities from their respective regional outreach efforts. India and Germany agree that regional cooperation, in particular with their respective neighbouring countries, contributes to regional stability and prosperity.

Prime Minister Modi and Federal Chancellor Merkel shared their common concern about the growing threat and global reach of terrorism and extremism and underscored their readiness to build closer collaboration to counter these challenges. They condemned terrorist violence in all its forms and manifestations, whether in the Middle East or in any other part of the world. They called for a political solution in Syria to successfully fight terrorism and end the violence there. They emphasized the importance of national reconciliation and unity in Iraq through efforts to reach out to all segments of the Iraqi society and create an inclusive state system.

They agreed to develop further cooperation through regular meetings of the Joint Working Group on Counter Terrorism and welcomed the initiation of cooperation in disaster management. Both underlined the potential of extending cooperation to industrial aspects of civil safety and security.

They looked forward to the second round of bilateral Cyber Consultations being held in 2015 and agreed to hold such comprehensive consultations on an annual basis with a view to building effective cooperation through designated modalities.

Both leaders underlined their commitment to the protection of human rights and democratic values.

India and Germany agreed to strengthen their cooperation on migration issues, bilaterally and internationally. Bearing in mind that Germany will be co-chairing the Global Forum on Migration and Development (GFMD) in 2017/18, they emphasized the role of international organizations and forums like the GFMD as facilitating actors in finding common answers to pressing migration issues.

In order to intensify the exchange of views on issues of common concern, both sides agreed to establish a new Policy Planning Dialogue between their Foreign Ministries. They also agreed to institute collaboration between the Foreign Service Institute of India and the Foreign Service Academy of Germany to facilitate more exchanges between young diplomats from both countries.

Germany and India welcome the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action reached by the E3/EU+3 and Iran on 14 July 2015 in Vienna, which marks an important step towards resolving the nuclear issue with Iran.

India and Germany stressed their full commitment to IAEA’s Safeguards and Germany welcomed India’s ratification of an Additional Protocol to its Safeguards Agreement. Both sides agreed to hold regular consultations on disarmament and non-proliferation.

Germany welcomed India's intensified engagement with the various export control regimes - The Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR), Australia Group and the Wassenaar Arrangement. Both sides agreed to continue to work together for India's accession to the regimes as a full member and thereby strengthen global non-proliferation efforts. They also welcomed the ongoing bilateral engagement on export controls. Germany noted that India’s participation in initiatives such as the Hague Code of Conduct against Missile Proliferation will strengthen its effectiveness. India agreed to continue and enhance its engagement with the Code.

Both leaders reaffirmed the urgent need for comprehensive reform of the UN Security Council, especially its expansion in both permanent and non-permanent categories, to make it more representative, effective and responsive to the geo-political realities of the 21st century. Recalling the Outcome Document of the 2005 World Summit, the leaders committed themselves to an early reform of the Security Council. Both sides stressed the outcome of the meeting of the G4 in New York on September 26th and agreed to intensify efforts to realize concrete results in the 70th Anniversary year of the United Nations. They also reiterated their full support for each other's candidatures for a permanent seat in a reformed UN Security Council.

Prime Minister Modi and Federal Chancellor Merkel welcomed the historic adoption of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and expressed their commitment to implementing the Sustainable Development Goals. Both leaders expressed their full support to France for reaching an ambitious, comprehensive and equitable climate agreement at COP 21 in Paris later this year. They outlined their common vision and cooperative action in a separate Joint Statement on Cooperation in Climate Change and Energy Technology.

Both leaders stressed the important role of the G20 in fostering strong, sustainable and balanced growth, private investments, trade and regulating financial markets. To this end, they looked forward to the next G20 meeting in Antalya in November this year, welcoming the continuation of the G20 agenda and implementation of existing decisions.

Working with Businesses Towards Inclusive and Skills-based Prosperity

Prime Minister Modi and Federal Chancellor Merkel renewed their determination to expand bilateral trade and investment. Both sides noted the potential of open markets for deepening trade relations and for attracting investments. They agreed to work closely towards achieving substantive outcomes in the 10th WTO Ministerial Conference in December 2015 in Nairobi, Kenya, in conformity with the development mandate of the Doha Round and to bring the Doha Round to a conclusion. They also underlined their strong commitment to the EU-India Broad Based Trade and Investment Agreement and committed to bring about a resumption of the negotiations as soon as possible.

Recognizing Germany's key competencies in high technology and India's growing needs, both leaders reaffirmed that technology intensive manufacturing can become a key pillar of their Strategic Partnership. Acknowledging the importance of other groups, such as the Indo German Energy Forum, they welcomed the efforts of the High Technology Partnership Group (HTPG) to identify specific opportunities for high technology collaboration, including in priority areas of manufacturing under the ‘Make in India’ programme, in particular defence manufacturing, through regular meetings.

They agreed that new policies, including the 'Make in India' initiative, have the potential to open up investment opportunities for German companies and that India's participation as Partner Country at the Hannover Messe has created a positive momentum for business. The German side welcomed Prime Minister Modi’s commitment to improve the ease of doing business in India and the Indian decision to set up a Fast Track System for German companies in the Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion (DIPP), Ministry of Commerce & Industry, which would be fully operationalized by March, 2016. Both sides encouraged the private sector to take advantage of these initiatives to enhance trade and investment. They agreed to work towards scheduling the next meeting of the Indo-German Joint Commission in India in 2016 to identify new areas for practical business cooperation. They see the Indo German Manager Training Program as an important contribution to further development of bilateral relations especially for small and medium sized enterprises. Social protection and occupational safety issues will also remain on the agenda, bilaterally and in relevant multilateral fora.

They welcomed the closer cooperation in the area of vocational training and skills development by supporting policy reforms in the apprenticeship system including dual system pilot projects in selected industry clusters. They supported the idea of German assistance for curriculum development and VET training as well as in helping India establish a National Institute for Skill Development for Higher Learning. Both sides also welcomed ongoing joint efforts to foster skills training in the sector of energy efficient building technologies. They agreed to hold the next Joint Working Group meeting on VET cooperation in 2016 in India. The Prime Minister also commended German companies in India which incorporate skills development programmes in their business strategy and thereby contribute to the development of their own enterprises as well as to the human capital base of India. He encouraged others to follow their example.

In the field of transport, both leaders believe that India's railway modernization and expansion plans open up commercial opportunities for German companies in high speed rail, station re-development, rolling stock manufacturing, logistics terminals and urged the private sector to explore early participation in this sector. Training managers, supervisors and instructors from Indian Railways is another potential area of collaboration. Both sides welcomed the intense cooperation underway in the automotive sector. They also agreed that the aviation industry offers new opportunities for investments. In pursuance of the emphasis on manufacturing and skill development by the Government of India, they encouraged their respective business enterprises to enter into arrangements for co-development and co-production of commercial aviation and defence equipment in India, including transfer of know-how and technologies.

Both sides took positive note of the resumption of negotiations for amending the existing Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement including the Article on Exchange of Information to enhance the elimination of double taxation and to foster financial transparency.

Building Sustainable Livelihoods and a Clean Environment

The leaders agreed to enhance collaboration towards the common aim of developing climate-friendly, efficient and sustainable solutions for India's expanding energy needs. Prime Minister Modi expressed appreciation for Germany's assistance in developmental projects over the years, including the new German commitment of 1.490 billion Euro. The leaders expressed satisfaction at the successful implementation of the "Green Energy Corridors" Project, which has been expanded by 400 million Euro. Both sides agreed to improve access to clean energy in rural locations. In this context, India welcomed Germany's readiness to assist in meeting its renewable energy target under the umbrella of the Solar Partnership with 1 billion Euro over the next five years.

The leaders underlined the importance of the Indo-German Energy Forum (IGEF) in contributing to the further development of the Indian energy sector. They agreed to enhance its strategic dimension and private sector involvement and hold the next meeting of the Indo-German Energy Forum in Germany in 2016. India also welcomed Germany’s partnership once again at the upcoming RE-INVEST 2016.

They noted new opportunities for German companies in the urban development sector offered by India's initiative on 100 Smart Cities. Germany has provided 360 million Euros for sustainable urban development in 2015. The leaders welcomed the recent convening of the Joint Working Group on Sustainable Urban Development and noted that it could serve as a forum to help identify one or more cities for bilateral collaboration.

Prime Minister Modi welcomed Germany's intention to initially commit 120 million Euro for a project in the upper Ganga River Basin aiming at a comprehensive improvement of the environmental situation in selected cities in the Ganga river basin.

The leaders also welcomed the establishment and inaugural meetings of the two Working Groups for collaboration in Water Management and Waste Management / Circular Economy in August 2015 in Germany and the planned meeting schedule for 2016, including on the occasion of the key trade fair event, IFAT Munich.

Both sides highlighted the constructive role of the Bilateral Working Group on Agriculture, Food Processing and Consumer Protection. They agreed to focus future bilateral efforts on consumer protection, food safety and plant protection issues and welcomed the intended closer cooperation between the relevant authorities of both countries as well as the continuation of the bilateral project on seed development. The two leaders also appreciated the agreement on fostering training and skills enhancement in the agricultural sector and welcomed the engagement of the private sector in establishing Centers of Excellence in Agriculture. Both sides welcomed the activities under the ‘’One World – No Hunger” Initiative.

Driving Innovation and Education Together

Germany's engineering competencies and India's strengths in information technology create significant synergies for collaboration in innovation. Germany and India agreed to explore new collaboration under the‘Digital India’ initiative. Both sides aim at building business collaborations through innovation in the area of Industry 4.0 and the ‘Internet of Things’. Germany and India will strengthen their cooperation in facilitating research and commercialization of technologies in Indian heavy industries.

Prime Minister Modi and Federal Chancellor Merkel welcomed the Indo-German Partnerships in Higher Education to facilitate collaborative research and academic and institutional exchanges between Universities and Institutions of Higher Education. A new International Centre for Advanced Studies in Humanities and Social Sciences in India will be expected to form a nucleus for ambitious research and act as a visible forum for exchanges among outstanding scholars from both countries. The German side welcomed the invitation to German scholars and scientists to participate in India's Global Initiative of Academic Networks (GIAN) programme. The leaders also proposed to explore further options of collaboration between the newly established IIT-Indore and TU-9.

Both leaders welcomed the growing number of Indian students studying in German Universities and agreed to initiate a dialogue between the relevant German government agencies and the Indian Embassy in Germany to discuss measures to facilitate and encourage this trend.

The leaders recalled the high level of collaboration in the field of science and technology as exemplified by India’s participation in mega-science facilities at DESY and FAIR in Germany. They reaffirmed their commitment to support mutually beneficial science and technology partnerships which will create new knowledge and innovative technologies for addressing societal challenges. They welcomed the decision to extend the tenure of the bilateral Indo-German Science & Technology Centre beyond 2017 and agreed to enhance the funding allocation to a maximum of 4 million Euro per year by each side.

Enhancing Mutual Understanding and Exchange

Prime Minister Modi and Federal Chancellor Merkel welcomed the agreement on teaching of the German language as an additional foreign language in Kendriya Vidyalayas in conformity with the National Education Policy of India as well as the facilitation of teaching of modern Indian languages in German educational institutions.

Both leaders encouraged Indian States and German Laender as well as the municipalities to capitalize on the similarities in the federal structures of both countries and explore all opportunities for engagement on a local level, including through further sister-State and twinning-city arrangements, mutually agreed mechanisms and exchange of best practices in regular contacts.

Recognising the importance of facilitating exchanges between people of the two countries, and bearing in mind the exclusive competence of the EU in the field of short-stay visas, both sides agreed to initiate discussions on simplifying respective visa procedures and making them as easy and transparent as possible, especially for business persons, entrepreneurs and investors, professionals and students, journalists and members of non-governmental organisations, who contribute substantially to the development of bilateral ties.

Both countries agreed to further facilitate mutual assistance in criminal matters and underlined their commitment to resume and bring to a successful conclusion their negotiations on a treaty as soon as possible.

The Prime Minister and Federal Chancellor shared the view that the Indo-German Consultative Group continues to provide valuable political and economic advice and should be reconvened at an early opportunity. They also noted the contribution being made by German political foundations in promoting people-to-people contacts.

Both leaders underscored the intention to cooperate closely as regards the protection of cultural goods and the fight against illicit trafficking in cultural property. The Indian side expressed deep appreciation for the gesture of goodwill from the Federal Republic of Germany and the State of Baden-Wuerttemberg in making possible the return of the statue of Durga-Mahishamardini to India.

Both leaders urged all concerned to explore greater contacts between parliamentarians, scholars and cultural personalities, as well as school children of both countries, to foster closer understanding and friendship. They underscored the mutual desire for closer cooperation in specific cultural and audiovisual fields, particularly between museums and libraries, and in the fields of cinema and television.

List of Signed Agreements

A – Governmental Agreements
  • Summary Record of the Negotiations on Development Cooperation between the Government of India and the Government of the Federal Republic of Germany.
  • Memorandum of Understanding between the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development of the Federal Republic of Germany and the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy of the Republic of India on Indo-German Development Cooperation Regarding the Indo-German Solar Energy Partnership.
  • Joint Memorandum of Understanding between the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship of the Republic of India, on one Hand, and the Federal Ministry of Education and Research and the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development of the Republic of Germany, on the other Hand, on Cooperation in the Field of Skill Development and Vocational Education and Training.
  • Memorandum of Understanding between the Ministry of Home Affairs of the Republic of India and the Federal Ministry of the Interior of the Federal Republic of Germany on Security Cooperation.
  • Memorandum of Understanding between the Ministry of Civil Aviation of the Republic of India and the Federal Ministry of the Interior of the Federal Republic of Germany on Aviation Security.
  • Joint Declaration of Intent between the Ministry of Home Affairs of the Republic of India and the Federal Ministry of the Interior of the Federal Republic of Germany on Cooperation in the Field of Disaster Management.
  • Joint Declaration between the Ministry of Science and Technology (Government of the Republic of India) and the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (Government of the Federal Republic of Germany) on the extension of the tenure of the Indo-German Science and Technology Centre (IGSTC).
  • Memorandum of Understanding between University Grants Commission (UGC), India and German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), Germany on Indo-German Partnerships in Higher Education (IGP).
  • Joint Declaration of Intent between the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare, (MoA&FW), Government of India, and the Federal Office of Consumer Protection and Food Safety (BVL) of the Federal Republic of Germany on Plant Protection Products.
  • Joint Declaration of Intent on the further Development of the Cooperation in the Field of Railways between the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure of the Federal Republic of Germany and the Ministry of Railways of the Republic of India.
  • Memorandum of Understanding between the Department of Heavy Industries & Public Enterprises, Government of India, and Fraunhofer Society, Germany on cooperation in the field of manufacturing.
  • Joint Announcement on setting up a Fast-Track system for German companies in India.
  • Joint Declaration between the Government of the Federal Republic of Germany and the Government of the Republic of India on the continuation of the cooperation in the field of advanced training of corporate executives and junior executives from India.
  • Joint Declaration of Intent between the Ministry of Human Resource Development of the Republic of India and the Federal Foreign Office of the Federal Republic of Germany regarding the Promotion of German as a Foreign Language in India and the Promotion of Modern Indian Languages in Germany.

    B – Agreements between other institutions
  • Joint Statement of Intent on Cooperation in Food Safety between the Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) and the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI).
  • Joint Statement of Intent between the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) and the Federal Office of Consumer Protection and Food Safety (BVL) on Cooperation in Food Safety.
  • Memorandum of Understanding between the German Agribusiness Alliance and Agriculture Skill Council of India (ASCI) on Cooperation in Agricultural Studies.
  • Letter of Intent between the Department of Science and Technology, Government of the Republic of India (DST), the Council for the Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings (Council), and the Foundation Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings (Foundation) on supporting participation of Indian young scientists in Natural Sciences for the Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings.
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