India and Germany on Friday agreed to broaden their cooperation and “shape the future” with focus on trade, bilateral investment, energy, hi-tech and defence even as both sides committed themselves to EU-India negotiations for a “broad based, ambitious and balanced” FTA.

Besides agreeing to greater cooperation at all international bodies, both sides agreed to continue working together to prepare the ground for India to accede to the export control regimes as a full member and thereby strengthen the international non-proliferation regime.

“The Indo-German cooperation opens up excellent prospects for developing both countries to the benefit of their peoples.

“Germany and India share the view that new initiatives in the area of trade, bilateral investment, energy, energy security, the environment, culture, education, training, research, technology and defence can catalyse and activate the great potential of their bilateral ties,” said a joint statement released at the end of the Indo-German intergovernmental consultations held in Berlin.

The meeting was co-chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Germany and India are determined to further expand their cooperation in higher education, research and technology -- dynamic core areas of the Indo-German Partnership -- and to open up new and innovative areas of cooperation, the statement said.

The statement titled ‘Shaping the future together’ noted that close trade and investment relations are a core dimension of bilateral partnership and of great importance for the development of both the Indian and the German economy.

“Both Governments will strongly back a further intensification of Indo-German business cooperation. Both sides would encourage cooperation in the field of rare earths on mutually beneficial terms. Both Governments recognize that expanding high technology trade and cooperation is key to deepening the strategic content of their relations.

“Both sides agree to consult regularly on advancing this objective and to this end form a High Technology Partnership Group including both government and business,” it said.

Both sides emphasised that freedom of movement for business visitors and professionals is important for the sustained growth of trade and investment flows. Both sides agreed to work together to facilitate such movement between the two countries.

Germany and India reaffirmed that they will continue their successful development cooperation in a spirit of partnership.

Assisting projects with innovative approaches in the mutually identified priority areas of energy, environment and sustainable economic development support India’s inclusive development and poverty reduction programmes, the statement said.

Germany and India expressed satisfaction at the deepening comprehensive bilateral relations between India and EU and “recognise that both India and EU, as long-standing strategic partners, are committed to working together to reinforce the relationship in all areas”.

“The leaders underline their strong commitment to a successful outcome to the EU India negotiations for a broad based, ambitious and balanced Free Trade Agreement that will generate jobs and growth in both countries and their hope for final agreement in 2013,” the statement said.

It added that Germany and India will seek to intensify consultations within the G20 and strengthen the G20’s role as the premier forum for international economic and financial cooperation.

“Both sides will therefore make strenuous efforts to achieve a consensus on trade facilitation by a balanced package of issues this year at the 9th WTO Ministerial Conference so as to ensure there is still a prospect of bringing the Doha Round to a conclusion,” it said.

On the security front, both sides agreed to intensify further their exchange of views and experience on combating terrorism as well as their practical cooperation in this connection, also in the Indo-German Working Group on Counter-Terrorism as well as multilateral forums.

“In the light of new security challenges both sides are keen to intensify their security policy dialogue and exchange of views.

“Both sides expressed their keenness to enhance cooperation in the defence sector through dialogue and exchanges on matters of mutual interest, including in the area of defence technology collaboration,” the joint statement said.

Germany and India reaffirmed that they will work together for a world without nuclear weapons, for universal and non-discriminatory global nuclear disarmament and a reduced salience of nuclear weapons in international affairs and security doctrines.

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