Germany wants to be partner in India’s economic development: Merkel

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New Delhi (dpa) – Germany wants to be a partner in India’s economic development, Chancellor Angela Merkel said in New Delhi Monday ahead of talks with the government in New Delhi.

She and Prime Minister Narendra Modi are scheduled to lead the third inter-governmental consultations Monday.

“The prime minister has a very ambitious economic development programme for India and Germany intends to contribute to it and support it,” Merkel said.

She cited agriculture, economy, defence and internal security as some areas of cooperation.

Boosting trade and investment and pursuing a free trade pact are high on the agenda, diplomats from both sides said.

Merkel is scheduled to visit a memorial to independence hero Mahatma Gandhi, and meet Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj.

She is accompanied by the German ministers of Foreign Affairs, Food and Agriculture, Education and Research, and Economic Cooperation and Development, who will meet their Indian counterparts.

Merkel and Modi are scheduled to meet with business leaders in the information technology hub Bangalore on Tuesday.

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