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Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung (Logo)Event Reports

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On the sidelines of Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier's visit to India, the India office of the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung organized a dialogue program with Indian Members of Parliament and representatives of the BJP for the only Member of the German parliament accompanying him, Mr. Ralph Brinkhaus, chairman of the German-Indian parliamentary group in the past legislative period, on 23rd March, 2018.

In addition to the Members of Parliament Rahul Kaswan, Harish C. Meena, Harish Dwivedi, Dr. Udit Raj and Dr. Sanjay Jaiswal one of the speakers of the BJP, Nalin S. Kohli, and Sunil Bharala, National Co-Convenor of the BJP, also joined the dialogue.

At the beginning of the dialogue with the Members of Parliament, Mr. Brinkhaus emphasized the increasing importance of India for Germany. This is also reflected in the current, early visit of the Federal President. For a long time, Germany has focused only on China in Asia, but this time is over now. India is now just as important for Germany as China, according to Mr. Brinkhaus. He pointed to the longstanding stable relations between the two countries and called for further expansion. In his opinion, in addition to the regular intergovernmental consultations, the exchange between parliamentarians should be significantly intensified. He said that the way how bilateral relations are shaped depends, to a large extent, on individual persons, which is why this dialogue should be consolidated through regular exchange. Peter Rimmele, Resident Representative of KAS to India, pointed out that KAS would like to support these efforts.

At the request of the Indian Members of Parliament, Mr. Brinkhaus spoke among other topics, about the new federal government and the difficulty of organizing a majority in parliament. He also addressed the current debate on Islam in Germany and answered questions about how Germany handled the refugee crisis. One topic of the discussions was about the investment conditions for German medium-sized enterprises in India. Many German companies are interested in investing in India, but they would like to see the necessary stable eco-system in place. Above all, Brinkhaus identified three problems that made German companies hesitate to invest: excessive bureaucracy, a lack of infrastructure and an unstable energy supply. The Indian Members of Parliament pointed out that special economic zones were created for Japanese and South Korean enterprises with better investment conditions. This is also conceivable for Germany. This would be particularly interesting for medium-sized companies as it would facilitate their entry into the Indian market, according to Ralph Brinkhaus. Nalin S. Kohli, spokesperson for the BJP, also pointed to the "Indo German Association for Legal Cooperation" (IGAL) which, with its legal expertise, is there to support German and Indian entrepreneurs in investing in the other country. At the end of the dialogue, all participants spoke in favor of a more regular exchange between the Members of Parliament from both countries.


ImagePeter Rimmele
Resident Representative India
Phone +91 11 26113520

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