Relax export control laws, India tells Germany

By Sarwar Kashani, IANS
Saturday, December 11, 2010

BERLIN - Visiting Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Saturday asked Germany to relax export control laws for opening new horizons for commerce as the two nations have set a target of enhancing bilateral trade to the volume of 20 billion euros by 2012.

Addressing journalists in the federal chancellery building, the Bundeskanzleramt after meeting Chancellor Merkel, Manmohan Singh said Indias relations with Germany were “excellent” and there were no bilateral irritants.

“I believe that the sky is the limit for our cooperation. This happy state of affairs has been made possible due to the chancellors personal guidance of our partnership, for which we are most grateful,” he said.

“There is vast untapped potential for high technology trade between India and Germany, and I conveyed to Chancellor Merkel that relaxation of German export control laws will open new horizons for such trade. This will be to our mutual benefit,” said Manmohan Singh who arrived in Berlin Saturday afternoon from Brussels where he attended an India-EU summit.

Manmohan Singh said that despite the economic downturn, India was “hopeful that the target of achieving bilateral trade of 20 billion Euros by 2012 will be achieved”.

Germany is Indias largest trading partner in the 27-nation European Union with bilateral trade growing in the recent years to reach 13.4 billion euros in 2008.

Bilateral trade decreased marginally to 13.09 billion euros but has revived and is growing by over 15 per cent and has reached 9.80 billion euro during January-August 2010.

Manmohan Singh said India “deeply” valued Germanys “consistent support”, including in the Nuclear Suppliers Group, for the opening of international commerce for India in the field of civil nuclear energy.

“We have discussed the possibilities of entering into bilateral cooperation in civil nuclear energy,” he said.

On the UN reforms, he said India and Germany will both be on the UN Security Council in 2011 and 2012, adding India “will work closely with Germany both bilaterally and within the G-4, to enhance the effectiveness of the Security Council, as well as in support of the expansion of the permanent and non-permanent categories of its membership”.

Calling Germany the “economic powerhouse of Europe”, he said the country was playing a key role in ensuring financial stability and economic recovery in the Eurozone.

“I conveyed Indias full support to Chancellor Merkel in this endeavour.”

He said the economic resurgence of Europe was critical for a balanced recovery of the global economy. We have agreed to continue our close consultations within the G-20 framework to work towards such an outcome.

Manmohan Singh said the world must continue to build upon the progress made at the Cancun Conference on climate change and reiterated that India would play its part in arriving at a “pragmatic and balanced solution within the framework of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change”.

He said India and Germany agreed to continue to enhance cooperation in the fields of higher education and renewable energy and energy efficiency in line with the 2007 agreement on science and technology “as a central pillar of our partnership”.

“Vocational training and skill development has emerged as a high priority for our government. It is critical for the success of our socio-economic development plans. We have chosen Germany as our preferred partner in this field and I am happy to announce that we have agreed to significantly scale up our cooperation in this sector,” he said.

(Sarwar Kashani can be contacted at

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