New Delhi: Describing Germany as a natural partner in India’s quest for sustainable growth, President Ram Nath Kovind on Saturday said the partnership between the countries was one for the future.
Speaking at a banquet in honour of German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier at the Rashtrapati Bhawan, the President said,’We see Germany as a natural partner in our quest for sustainable growth. Ours is a partnership for the future, be it defining the contours of cyber space or climate change action, digital transformation or harnessing renewable energy.
‘German companies are helping us take our ‘Make In India’, ‘Skill India’, ‘Clean India’ and ‘Start-up India’ programmes forward. We want many more to join us in our journey.’
Calling for both countries to join hands to fight terrorism, the President said, ‘Excellency, in these times, no corner of the world is immune to the scourge of terrorism. It poses a constant threat to our peaceful societies and to our development and progress. We must join hands, ever more strongly, to defeat these inhuman forces.’
The President said India deeply values Germany’s role in promoting global peace and stability.
‘We deeply value Germany’s role in promoting global peace and stability. We fully support your efforts to strengthen Europe and a multi-polar world. In this context, the Indian Ocean Region and beyond offers possibilities for mutual collaboration,’ he said.
Describing India-Germany friendship as unique and special, the President said on one hand it has the
strength of a digital-age partnership, and on the other, the depth of an age-old cultural engagement.
‘We have had a long tradition of intellectual exchanges between our two countries. German scholars
played a key role in promoting Indology in Europe and in the West. The translation of Kalidasa’s
Shakuntalam into German created quite a sensation among scholars like Goethe. And on us, the
arguments of Max Mueller and Hermann Hesse have always resonated with conviction.
‘Similarities between German and Sanskrit have further influenced our cultural cross-flows,’ he said.
The President said, ‘There is strong willingness in both the countries to deepen and elevate relations even further.’
‘I am confident that your visit would open a new chapter in our bilateral relations,’ he said.
Earlier, welcoming the German President to India, Mr Kovind said,’India and Germany may be separated by geographical distance, but we are united by our shared values of democracy, respect for individual freedom and the rule of law.’
‘We have crafted a modern partnership on this strong foundation. Our economic partnership is doing well.
There is growing cooperation between India and Germany in trade and investment. Germany is India’s sixth largest trading partner and seventh largest foreign investor. However, our bilateral trade, at about 18.7 billion
US dollar, is far below potential. We need to work on this,’ he added.