German Chancellor arrives in India to boost ties
New Delhi, Feb 25 (EFE).- German Chancellor Olaf Scholz arrived in India on Saturday to strengthen bilateral trade relations, and discuss matters related to trade and defense, officials said.
The two-day official visit includes a meeting with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi during which they are expected to discuss the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
“PM @narendramodi receives German Chancellor @Bundeskanzler Olaf Scholz for a ceremonial welcome at the forecourt of Rashtrapati Bhavan. Chancellor Scholz’s visit is an opportunity to further deepen the multifaceted India-Germany Strategic Partnership,” tweeted foreign ministry spokesperson Arindam Bagchi.
This is Scholz’s first visit to India since taking office as chancellor. The German leader is expected to exchange a series of memoranda of understanding focusing on bilateral trade.
German ambassador to India, Philipp Ackermann, said at a press conference ahead of Scholz’s arrival that the chancellor would be accompanied by a delegation of top entrepreneurs, including leaders of the technology and industrial group Siemens and software manufacturer SAP.
“We are expecting many bilateral agreements to be signed amongst German and Indian firms,” said Ackermann.
Talks will also focus on a possible free trade agreement between the European Union and India, and greater cooperation between the Asian country and Germany on defense, renewable and green energy.
The conflict in Ukraine, ongoing since the Russian invasion a year ago, will also be on Scholz’s agenda.
The German chancellor is also scheduled to meet President Droupadi Murmu, as well as notable faces from the country’s business sector.
Scholz will leave Sunday for the southern city of Bangalore, the technological heart of India and where the G20 meeting of finance ministers and central bank governors is currently underway.
The G20 meet comes amid a scrutiny of the Asian country’s neutral position on the Ukraine conflict as New Delhi aspires to be a prominent voice in the international stage.
In December, German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock visited the Asian country with an agenda focused on the transition and development of renewable energies. EFE