Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy Brigitte Zypries with India's Minister of State for Commerce and Industry, Ms Nirmala Sitharaman.

Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy Brigitte Zypries (r.) with India's Minister of State for Commerce and Industry, Ms Nirmala Sitharaman (l.).

© Steffen Kugler

The fourth Indo-German Intergovernmental Consultations are taking place on 29 - 30 May 2017 in Berlin. Today, Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy Brigitte Zypries will be holding talks with India's Minister of State for Commerce and Industry, Ms Nirmala Sitharaman.

Federal Minister Zypries said: "I want to discuss ways to further deepen our economic relations and the possibility to conclude a free trade agreement with modern standards between India and the EU. India is a strategically important economic partner for Germany in Asia. We have further adjusted our promotional instruments to the needs of German companies to support large-scale business projects abroad. This export strategy will improve the position of our companies in the global competition for large-scale projects."

Minister Brigitte Zypries will also sign two joint declarations of intent with the Indian government in the presence of Chancellor Angela Merkel and India's Prime Minister, Mr Narendra Modi: one on the continuation of the successful Manager Training Programme between Germany and India and a second one on deepening cooperation in the field of digital policy.

More than 1,600 German companies are doing business in India; they have created over 400,000 jobs. In the last ten years, the volume of bilateral trade has increased more than threefold (amounting to €17.4 billion in 2016). With goods worth €9.8 billion, India ranks fourth as an importer of German products in Asia.