New Delhi: I will be visiting Berlin, Germany on May 2, 2022 at the invitation of H.E. Mr. Olaf Scholz, Federal Chancellor of Germany following which I will travel to Copenhagen, Denmark from May 3-4, 2022 at the invitation of H.E. Ms. Mette Frederiksen, Prime Minister of Denmark to hold bilateral engagements and also participate in the Second India-Nordic Summit. On the way back to India, I will make a brief stopover in Paris, France for a meeting with H.E. Mr. Emmanuel Macron, President of France.
My visit to Berlin will be an opportunity to hold detailed bilateral discussions with Chancellor Scholz, whom I met at G20 last year in his previous capacity as Vice-Chancellor and Finance Minister. We will co-chair the 6th India-Germany Inter-Governmental Consultations (IGC), a unique biennial format which India conducts only with Germany. Several Indian ministers will also travel to Germany and hold consultations with their German counterparts.
I see this IGC as an early engagement with the new government in Germany, within six months of its formation, which will be helpful to identify our priorities for the medium and long term.
In 2021, India and Germany commemorated 70 years of the establishment of diplomatic relations and have been strategic partners since 2000. I look forward to exchanging views with Chancellor Scholz on strategic, regional and global developments that concern us both.
The long standing commercial ties between India and Germany form one of the pillars of our Strategic Partnership, and Chancellor Scholz and I will also jointly address a Business Roundtable with the goal of energising our industry to industry cooperation, which will help strengthen the post-Covid economic recovery in both countries.
Continental Europe is home to over one million persons of Indian origin, and Germany has a significant proportion of this Diaspora. The Indian Diaspora is an important anchor in our relations with Europe and therefore I will take the opportunity of my visit to the continent to meet our brothers and sisters there.
From Berlin, I will travel to Copenhagen where I will have a bilateral meeting with Prime Minister Frederiksen which will provide an opportunity to review the progress in our unique ‘Green Strategic Partnership’ with Denmark, as well as other aspects of our bilateral relations. I will also participate in the India-Denmark Business Roundtable as well as interact with the Indian community in Denmark.
Apart from the bilateral engagements with Denmark, I will also take part in the 2nd India-Nordic Summit along with Prime Ministers of Denmark, Iceland, Finland, Sweden and Norway where we will take stock of our cooperation since the First India-Nordic Summit in 2018. The Summit will focus on subjects like post-pandemic economic recovery, climate change, innovation and technology, renewable energy, the evolving global security scenario and India-Nordic cooperation in the Arctic region.
On the side-lines of the Summit, I will also meet the leaders of the other four Nordic countries and review the progress in India’s bilateral relations with them.
Nordic countries are important partners for India in sustainability, renewable energy, digitisation and innovation. The visit will help in expanding our multifaceted cooperation with the Nordic region.
During my return journey, I will stopover in Paris to meet my friend, President Macron. President Macron has very recently been re-elected, and my visit just ten days after the result will not only allow me to convey my personal congratulations in-person, but also reaffirm the close friendship between the two countries. This will also give us the opportunity to set the tone of the next phase of the India-France Strategic Partnership.
President Macron and I will share assessments on various regional and global issues and will take stock of ongoing bilateral cooperation. It is my firm belief that two countries that share such similar vision and values for the global order, must work in close cooperation with each other.
My visit to Europe comes at a time when the region faces many challenges and choices. Through my engagements, I intend to strengthen the spirit of cooperation with our European partners, who are important companions in India’s quest for peace and prosperity.