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Setting Sail for a Powerful India-German Partnership

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January 22, 2022

Why in news?

The recent landing of German Navy frigate Bayern in Mumbai reiterates the significant role of Indo-Pacific in Indo-German relations.

How has Indo-Pacific shaped India’s foreign policy with Germany?

The Indo-Pacific region is home to around 65% of the global population and 20 of the world’s 33 megacities. The region accounts for 62% of global GDP and 46% of the world’s merchandise trade.

  • Germany has realised that the world’s political and economic centre of gravity is, to a large degree, shifting to the Indo-Pacific region, with India as a key player.
  • A significant part of the future international order is being shaped based on the Indo-Pacific.
  • The Indo-Pacific Policy Guidelines was adopted by Germany in 2020 and the European Union’s Indo-Pacific Strategy was published last year.
  • Both Europe and India advocate for
    • The trade routes to stay open
    • Uphold the freedom of navigation
    • Peaceful dispute resolution on the basis of international law
  • Since, more than 20% of German trade is conducted in the Indo-Pacific neighbourhood, both countries share a responsibility to maintain and support stability, prosperity and freedom in this part of the world.
  • India is a maritime powerhouse and a strong advocate for free and inclusive trade and, therefore, a primary partner in the Indo-Pacific mission.

To know more about Indo-German ties, click here

What are the challenges in Indo-Pacific?

  • Carbon emissions- The Indo-Pacific region is the source of more than half of all global carbon emissions.
  • This makes the region’s countries key partners in tackling global challenges such as climate change and sustainable energy production and consumption.
  • China’s larger military reach- The emergence of China as a dominant military power and its efforts to continue to control Taiwan, the South China Sea and Senkaku Islands (Japan) is the foremost challenge.
  • China has also shown its intention by flexing its muscles in the Indo-Pacific by initiating the RCEP which includes Indo-Pacific nations and Favoured Trading Agreement within the members of this grouping.

What is the scope of the Indo-German relations?

On March 7, 2021, India and Germany marked the 70th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations.

  • Tackling common challenges- After 16 years of Angela Merkel’s chancellorship, Olaf Scholz took the helm of the German government in December 2021.
  • During their inaugural conversation, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and he agreed that India and Germany will step up their cooperation to tackle common challenges.
  • Coordinated action- In 2022 Germany will hold the G7 Presidency, and from December 2022, India will assume the same role for the G20 providing an opportunity for joint and coordinated action.
  • Defence- The Indian Navy and the German Navy carried out a joint exercise in the Gulf of Aden near Yemen, in the Indian Ocean leg of Indo-Pacific Deployment 2021.
  • This provides scope for enhanced interoperability and exchange of best practices between partner navies in maritime domain.
  • Fighting the climate crisis- Germany cooperates with India to the tune of 1.3 billion euros a year in development projects, 90% of which serves for fighting climate change, saving natural resources and promoting clean and green energy.
    • The construction of a solar plant in Maharashtra’s Dhule (Sakri) with a capacity of 125 MW is one such example.
  • Germany and India are putting into practice what world leaders agreed upon at COP26 in Glasgow.

 

Reference

  1. https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/op-ed/setting-sail-for-a-powerful-india-german-partnership/article38305131.ece

 

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