We look forward to working with Germany on cooperation in Indo-Pacific: Shringla

Last Updated 27 November 2020, 17:05 IST

India on Friday said it was looking forward to working with Germany in advancing practical cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region to ensure security and growth for all.

In an address at a virtual conference on Indo-German ties, Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla referred to Berlin's release of policy guidelines for the Indo-Pacific region, and said that India was happy to note the "high degree" of convergence between the two countries on the issue.

"Germany has also released its Indo-Pacific guidelines earlier this year and we welcome this development. We are also happy to note the high degree of convergence between India and Germany on the Indo-Pacific," he said.

"We look forward to working with Germany in advancing practical cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region to ensure security and growth for all," Shringla said.

On September 2, the German government released a document titled 'Policy guidelines for the Indo-Pacific region' that highlighted the country's vision for the region.

The evolving situation in the Indo-Pacific region in the wake of China's increasing military muscle-flexing has become a major talking point among the leading global powers. India, the US, Japan and Australia have been focusing on a comprehensive approach for the Indo-Pacific region under their quadrilateral coalition or "Quad".

In his address at the 'Indo-German 1.5 Track Dialogue 2020', Shringla also referred to India's vision for the Indo-Pacific as outlined by Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore in 2018.

"We call for a free, open and inclusive order in the Indo-Pacific, based upon respect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all nations, peaceful resolution of disputes through dialogue and adherence to international rules and laws," he said.

"At the Shangri-La Dialogue, the prime minister also spoke about the doctrine of 'Security and Growth for All in the Region' or SAGAR which guides our approach to the Indo-Pacific," the foreign secretary said.

Talking about the coronavirus pandemic, Shringla said it has brought to the fore the need for more secure and reliable supply chains.

"There is global recognition that we need to diversify our supply chains and design them to be more resilient to disruptions like the current pandemic. We also see this as an opportunity to make India, in the words of the prime minister, an 'active manufacturing hub placed at the heart of global value chains," he said.

"This is the vision of the Atmanirbhar Bharat or self-reliant India campaign launched by our prime minister. The campaign, as the prime minister has underlined, merges domestic production and consumption with global supply chains," the foreign secretary said.

Shringla also mentioned the reform measures India has undertaken since the pandemic began.

"We have simplified our labour laws; instituted landmark reforms in the agriculture sector; and launched production linked incentive schemes to attract investment in sectors ranging from electronics manufacturing and solar modules to auto, textiles and pharmaceuticals," he added.

The foreign secretary also said that German companies can ramp up their investments in India in a way that can decisively change the current paradigm.

"We also see great potential for collaboration between our two countries in the area of digitisation, startups, innovation and new and emerging technologies, such as artificial intelligence," he said.

Shringla also said climate change was another area on which India and Germany have a strong convergence of views and interests.

"India played an important role in reaching the agreement to combat climate change at Paris in 2015. Despite its huge developmental challenges and energy requirements, India set ambitious targets for itself in renewable power, non-fossil fuel energy and increasing the green cover," he said.

"And today, India is not only on track to meet its commitments under the Paris Agreement, but is going beyond these commitments in its fight against climate change," he said.

(Published 27 November 2020, 17:01 IST)

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