Germany and India's continues to be largest trading partner in Europe. Germany is currently the 8th largest foreign direct investor in India. Germany's FDI totaled about 5.2 billion USD during the period 2000-2012, constituting about 3% of total FDI to India. Indian investments in Germany have seen sharp increase in last few years.
India was the first nation to end the state of war with Germany after the Second World War. Unlike many other countries who forced compensation or reparations after the Second World War against German people, India waived all its compensation rights. A great number of Indian soldiers had been killed in the Second World War in fighting Nazis as allied troops. This was to lessen the burden on the German people as their country had been reduced to a rubble and there was little food for Germans to eat after the collapse of Third Reich.
After a spell in Argentina, aircraft designer Kurt Tank, who worked for Focke-Wulf during World War II, moved to India. First he worked as Director of the Madras Institute of Technology, and later joined Hindustan Aeronautics, where he designed the Hindustan Marut fighter-bomber, the first military aircraft constructed in India. Tank left Hindustan Aeronautics in 1967 and by the 1970s had returned to live in Berlin.
Development of bilateral ties
Germany has extensively supported education and cultural development in India. Germany helped establish the Indian Institute of Technology Madras after both governments signed an agreement in 1956 and increased its co-operation and supply of technology and resources over the decades to help expand the institution.
In 2008, both nations established the Indo-German Science and Technology Centre in New Delhi to promote joint research and development in energy, environment, coal and water technologies. Germany is India's largest European trading partner and the 5th largest trade partner. Current trade volume stands at €10.5 billion in 2006, € 12.7 billion in 2007-08 and both nations see it increasing to €30 billion by 2010. India and Germany enjoy strong commerce and co-operation in telecommunications, engineering, environmental technology, food processing, chemicals and pharmaceuticals.
In the 1990s, Germany condemned India's 1998 nuclear tests, but has since expanded its co-operation with India in fighting terrorism and conducting joint military exercises. Germany has also supported India's waiver from the Nuclear Suppliers Group to trade nuclear materials and energy. In 2008, the Indian Navy and the German Navy conducted joint exercises for the first time, following a defence co-operation agreement between the two nations signed in 2006. India has so far launched seven German satellites into Polar orbits since 1999.
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India and Germany are together in seeking a permanent seat at the United Nations Security Council.
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In 2008, German Chancellor Angela Merkel made an official visit to India that led to the signing of several agreements expanding bilateral co-operation in commerce, science, technology and defence. In 2014, on the occasion of the visit of the President of Germany Joachim Gauck to India, two Umbrella Agreements respectively for financial and technical cooperation under Indo-German bilateral Development Cooperation were signed . The Umbrella Agreements were signed by P.Chidambaram, Finance Minister of India and Dr Gerd Mueller, Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development, Germany during the meeting between the two ministers .The Government of Germany committed funds amounting to Euro 1.09 billion, which is highest ever commitment so far since 1958. The Umbrella Agreement on Financial Cooperation pertains to concessional loans from Government of Germany for nine projects namely Himalaya Hydro power Programme (HPPCL), Green Energy Corridors, Promotional Programme for Energy Efficient New Residential Housing-II (NHB), Energy Efficiency in Thermal Power Plants (WBPDCL), Affordable Housing Programme (NHB), New Approaches in Microfinance and Microenterprise Finance (SIDBI), Missing Middle Programme (SIDBI), Madhya Pradesh Urban Sanitation and Environment Programme and Himachal Pradesh Forest Ecosystems Climate Proofing Project.
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- 2013 World Service Poll BBC
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