Germany Not To Follow Britain In Re-Engaging With Gujarat


NEW DELHI – Germany is not going to follow Britain in re-engaging with the Gujarat government led by chief minister Narendra Modi when the state is going to the polls, the country’s ambassador to India said.

“Our stand remains unchanged. There is a domestic elections that will start there (Gujarat) and we do not want to make any statements on it,” ambassador Michael Steiner said here.

“UK had informed us before making their announcement. However, our stand is not affected by the UK’s decision,” he added.

The German envoy was commenting on Britain’s recent decision to re-engage with the Gujarat government. Britain was among many other countries that had boycotted the Gujarat government after the 2001 communal riots in the state.

On the trade and investment with India, the envoy said the negativity surrounding the investment environment in India has faded a bit due to the recent decision in allowing foreign direct investment (FDI) in retail and other areas.

“The recent decision on FDI has helped improve the image and atmosphere of investments in India.”

On the European financial crisis, the envoy said efforts are being made by EU countries to resolve the crisis, including the use of two instruments — the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) and the Fiscal Compact.

The ESM provides for buying up to 780 billion Euros (around $1 trillion) sovereign bonds of euro zone countries which are under financial stress. The Fiscal Compact envisages a singular economic governance policy for the euro zone, including monetary policy and further integration.

Steiner said that despite the current crisis, Indo-German trade will reach the Euro 20 billion-mark by this year-end.