Germany and India want to work more closely on climate protection, migration and strengthening democracy. Chancellor Olaf Scholz and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi signed a total of 14 agreements for stronger cooperation at the Indo-German intergovernmental consultations in Berlin on Monday.
The Chancellor also invited Modi to the G7 summit in June at Schloss Elmau in Bavaria. “India is a key partner for Germany in Asia – economy, security policy and climate policy,” said Scholz. “We are ready to continue and, above all, to expand our close cooperation with India on global issues.”
Cooperation in hydrogen production
Above all, Modi values closer cooperation on climate protection. “Today we call for an Indo-German partnership for green and sustainable development,” he said. Among the agreed projects is cooperation on the future of hydrogen technology. Due to favorable conditions for renewable electricity generation, India could become an important global production site for green hydrogen in the long term, explains the Federal Ministry of Economy.
Germany must be CO2-free by 2045. To achieve this, production processes, for example in the steel and chemical industries, must be completely reorganized. Above all, green hydrogen, for the production of which uses green electricity, must play a major role in the conversion. Germany will most likely have to import large quantities of hydrogen.
Germany and India also signed a partnership agreement on migration from India to Germany. According to the government, this includes legal migration and cooperation in the return of migrants. This is the first comprehensive mobility and migration agreement that Germany has negotiated with a country of origin, he said. Scholz points to the shortage of skilled workers in Germany.
One of the four host countries of the G7 Summit
India is the second most populous country in the world, the world’s largest democracy and a major economy. Apart from Indonesia, Senegal and South Africa, they are now one of four countries that Scholz invited to the G7 summit at Schloss Elmau in Bavaria. In addition to Germany, the G7 also includes the United States, France, Great Britain, Italy, Japan and Canada.
In early January, Germany took over the presidency of the “Group of Seven” for one year. The summit will take place in the Bavarian Alps from June 26 to 28, chaired by Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD). Apart from the Ukraine war, the focus is on protecting the climate, fighting the pandemic and strengthening international cooperation and democracy around the world. “We have to understand democracy as a humanitarian concern that unites us and for that we bear responsibilities,” Scholz said after his meeting with Modi.
Government consultations are an expression of special relations with selected partner countries. It has been with India since 2011. It was the Chancellor’s second detailed exchange with an Asian nation in as many days. Last week he visited Japan. The trip especially caused a stir because Scholz, unlike his predecessors Angela Merkel and Gerhard Schröder, did not travel to China first. The world’s most populous nation and Asia’s strongest economy is seen by Germany and other Western nations as rivals to the system.
Differences in the Ukraine issue
But there are also differences between Germany and India, especially in current Ukrainian politics. India has a neutral attitude towards the war of Russian aggression. It does not support Western sanctions and abstains from resolutions in the US Security Council – both against and for Russia.
At the same time, India has recently been buying more cheap Russian oil. India has long maintained good relations with Russia – and previously with the Soviet Union – and the country relies heavily on Moscow for military equipment and related spare parts. However, India also has good relations with the West. Recently, the country has only strengthened its cooperation with the US.
After meeting Modi, Scholz again appealed to Russian President Vladimir Putin to stop the war in Ukraine, end “senseless killings” and withdraw troops from Ukraine. Boundaries should not be pushed by force.