Saturday, October 6, 2007

Germany, India seek co-operation on climate change

Berlin: German Economic Minister Michael Glos and Indian Finance Minister P Chidambaram who met in Berlin on Wednesday, have proposed greater co-operation between their two nations on reducing Carbon-di-oxide (CO2) emissions. In particular both ministers saw the chance for German companies playing a key role in India's infrastructure development, energy sector, and climate change. "There is increasing recognition that India is a fast-growing nation," Chidambaram said at the end of a two-day meeting of the Indo-German Joint Economic Council. Chidambaram identified climate change and intellectual property rights as two common areas of the talks between India and its biggest trading partner in Europe. The Indian minister went on to call for the setting up of what he called a flagship investment programme for the two nations.

With both ministers emphasizing the potential of business investment in their two nations, Glos addressed a press conference following the council meeting and said that, "German companies are able to invest more and to cooperate more on climate change." Over the next five years, India plans to invest about $475 billion in major infrastructure projects such as airports, roads and power stations. The council meeting was held as part of the build-up, to next month's visit to India by German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
The council meeting also came against the backdrop of a recent solid economic performance by both nations with Germany emerging in 2006 from a protracted period of stagnation. "We are confident that over the next years we will be able to increase the growth rate to 10 per cent and sustain it in the mid term," Chidambaram said. Glos told the press conference that the council meeting had represented "a milestone" in the economic relations between the two nations, while Chidambaram saw the gathering as strengthening the strategic partnership that had developed between the two nations. (IANS)
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