German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Friday praised India for its work in the field of renewable energy and said Berlin intends to work very closely on sustainable development and climate protection including waste management and availability of pure water.
"We intend to work very closely on sustainable development and climate protection. There are many areas both in environmental like waste management pure water and climate issues. India has rather low CO2 footprints. The future industrial development, of course, needs to be as sustainable as possible. 74 GW of renewable energy is here in India and that something that you have reiterated and moved forward. I can congratulate you on that part," Merkel said.
The German chancellor, who is in India for the fifth round of Inter-Governmental Consultations (IGC), made these remarks during a joint press conference with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Merkel thanked the Indian government for the warm hospitality and said the two countries are linked with strategic and friendly relationship. "I want to thank you personally and your minister for the warm hospitality. Our two countries are linked by a strategic relationship and also a friendly relationship."
Chancellor Merkel was accompanied by ministers of foreign affairs, science and education, food and agriculture, and an official delegation. A business delegation comprising leaders of German companies also accompanied Chancellor Merkel. During the visit, Merkel held meetings with President Ram Nath Kovind and Prime Minister Modi.
India and Germany held delegation-level talks and exchanged five joint declarations. Both countries also signed 17 Memoranda of Understandings.
"These memoranda of understandings show how broad our field of cooperation is and a declaration that we have adopted illustrated once again," Merkel said.
Merkel also asserted that Germany wishes to work with India in the field of technology.
"India has a huge potential here especially when it comes to digitalisation but the development is very fast and its a challenge. And if we work together it would be a wonderful way of cooperation," Merkel said.
The German chancellor said that the agreements are on trade innovation, investment and knowledge.
She noted that the economic relations between India and Germany have strengthened but they could be further intensified.
Merkel said that the two sides also discussed the issues of education and research cooperation.
"20,000 Indian nationals are studying in Germany. We would like to see even more. When it comes to vocational training, we want to have the exchange of teachers too," she added.
Merkel also called for improving cultural exchanges between the two nations.
"The exchange of culture is the field we can really bring people together Germany can learn a lot about Indian culture. Indian culture is not present in Germany as it should be," she said.
During her address, Merkel also remembered Mahatma Gandhi and said that his peaceful revolution was inspiring for so many people across the globe.
"The fact that I can stand here before you today is linked to the fact that thirty years ago a wall was brought down in Berlin and was opened after a peaceful process and that shows us our tradition that Indian and German can be proud of," she said.