Germany–India relations

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India-Germany relations
Map indicating locations of India and Germany



The bilateral relations between the Republic of India and the Federal Republic of Germany have been traditionally strong due to strong commercial, cultural and strategic co-operation.

Germany continues to be India's largest trading partnership 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.[1]


Enthusiastic welcome offered to the first Indian student to arrive to Dresden, East Germany (1951)

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.

India maintained diplomatic relations with both West Germany and East Germany but supported their reunification in 1990.[2]

According to a 2014 BBC World Service Poll, 32% of Indians view Germany's influence positively, with 26% expressing a negative view, while only 16% of Germans view India's influence positively with 68% expressing a negative view, the most negative perception of India in the world .[3]

Development of bilateral ties[edit]

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.[4][5]

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.[5][6] Germany is India's largest European trading partner and the 5th largest trade partner.[2][7] 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.[2][6][7][8] India and Germany enjoy strong commerce and co-operation in telecommunications, engineering, environmental technology, food processing, chemicals and pharmaceuticals.[2][7]

Strategic ties[edit]

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.[2][7] Germany has also supported India's waiver from the Nuclear Suppliers Group to trade nuclear materials and energy.[2] 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.[7] India has so far launched seven German satellites into Polar orbits since 1999.

Political relations[edit]

India and Germany are together in seeking a permanent seat at the United Nations Security Council.

Bilateral visits[edit]

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.[6]


See also[edit]