PM Narendra Modi and German Chancellor Angela Merkel made a short tête-à-tête at Berlin on Tuesday and this meeting could prove to be a game changer in terms of India’s relations with Germany and the European Union.

Trade between India and the European Union has stalled lately and after the Berlin meeting, Modi has decided to push forward the deal of ‘Free Trade Agreement’ with the members of European Union which has been luring around since 2013. Modi, whose visit to Germany comes less than a week after Merkel provided the strongest indication yet that the EU and the US under President Trump were drifting apart, said India would play a positive role in boosting unity in the grouping.

During the meeting, Modi also said that Germany and India are ‘made for each other’ and both countries signed bilateral agreements which covered cyber security, urban development, vocational education, digitisation and infrastructure sectors. Angela Merkel also called India as a ‘reliable partner’ and appreciated India’s willingness to support Germany and EU.

In July, EU and Indian negotiators will make talks to open trade between the countries and provide protection to businessmen who invest in India. The announcement could ease concerns of German businesses, who have been warning that potential investments in India could be at risk, unless an investment protection treaty is negotiated. Prime Minister Modi flagged the opportunities at a press conference, inviting Germany to step up its participation in training the 800 million Indian youth he said could contribute to the global economy if they acquired skills, as well as transport and smart cities.

This meeting might prove to be pivotal for the European Union’s strategies and bilateral relations with India. And with strong ties with the European countries, international trade can significantly boost and India will make new friends, and will not totally rely on the States.

14849