[Answered] India’s relationship with Germany has traditionally lagged behind its relations with other European countries. In the light of the statement, discuss the significance of a strong India-Germany relation.

Introduction: Contextual introduction.
Body: Explain some issues in India-Germany relationship. Also write significance of a strong India-Germany relation.
Conclusion: Write a way forward.

The bilateral relations between India and Germany are founded on common democratic principles.

India was amongst the first countries to establish diplomatic ties with the Federal Republic of Germany after the Second World War. Germany is India’s largest trading partner in Europe and 2nd most important partner in terms of technological collaborations.

Issues in India-Germany relationship:

  • India’s position on the Russian invasion of Ukraine, abstention on critical votes on the war and continued economic engagement like cheap crude import has attracted criticism from the West.
  • The convergence of interests to protect democratic values is not a strong binding chord between India and Germany. For example, India has adopted pragmatism on dealing with Myanmar’s junta.
  • India has territorial conflictswith China. Despite the lack of German trust in China, there exists economic interdependence.
  • There is a problem of the lack of a separate bilateral investment treaty between the two countries. Germany has a Bilateral Trade and Investment Agreement (BTIA) with India via EU.
  • The lack of understanding of each other’s strategic cultures and domestic politics.

Significance of a strong India-Germany relation:

  • Economy: Germany is India’s largest economic partner in the European Union (EU).
  • Clean energy and green technologies: It has emerged as the central pillar in the partnership. The Green and Sustainable Development Partnership was launched last year. There exists cooperation in the area of green hydrogen.
  • Mobility and migration: Germany has shortages of skilled manpower; where technically skilled Indians could help plug this gap.
  • Security: India attempts to diversify from its military dependenceon Russia. Berlin is also reassessing its arms exports policy. Germany could become an important defence partner for India. Germany’s intent to enhance its strategic involvement in the Indo-Pacific through greater military deployment.
  • As ties with Russia and China are uncertain, Europe is prioritising values based partnerships with like- minded countries. It can advance India­-German cooperation.
  • A recent agreement on India­-Germany triangular cooperationinvolves development projects in third countries.

In times of shifting geopolitical alliances and realignments, India and Germany can emerge as important poles in shaping the new world order.

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