German Chancellor Olaf Scholz's essay on Zeitenwende emphasises a strong Germany as a guarantor of European security. It has attracted global attention - but has virtually no mention of India. In parallel, however, the visit of Foreign Minister Annalenna Baerbock reinforced Germany's interest in India, and suggested an upgrade to the bilateral. It is necessary, if India is to seek expanded economic ties with Berlin.
The German civil security industry is in the throes of change: it was once an avenue of employment for the less educated or the jobless. Today, companies are increasingly selling comprehensive security solutions. India will gain by being prepared for such trends and technological innovations
German Chancellor Merkel’s recent visit to India with a high-powered entourage showed the weight attached to this bilateral relationship. German companies want to gain more access to the Indian market and be part of Prime Minister Modi’s high-tech initiatives—and it is up to India to surmount political hurdles and tap into this potential.
It has been ten months since India and Germany signed an agreement to partner in developing three smart cities. The government now seriously needs to move beyond slogans and aspirations and start addressing the more pressing issues specific to smart city development. Then only will the Modi-Merkel diplomacy be viewed as a success at home.
Negotiations for the India-EU Free Trade Agreement, which began in 2007, have yet to conclude. Deepak Rao blogs about the factors delaying the process, and the implications of the agreement on different sectors of the economy.