News » National

Updated: April 11, 2013 02:41 IST

Manmohan to raise labour mobility with Merkel

Special Correspondent
Comment (2)   ·   print   ·   T  T  
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh with German Chancellor Angela Merkel ahead of a meeting in New Delhi. File photo: S. Subramanium
The Hindu
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh with German Chancellor Angela Merkel ahead of a meeting in New Delhi. File photo: S. Subramanium

Labour mobility, especially from India to the West, will be among the key issues Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his entourage will discuss with the German leadership over the next two days.

“I will seek Chancellor [Angela] Merkel’s support for an early conclusion of a balanced India-EU Broad-based Trade and Investment Agreement. I will also propose that Europe keep its doors open to Indian investors and professionals,” Dr. Singh said in a statement on Wednesday morning, before leaving for Germany for his fifth summit with the Chancellor.

Besides favouring greater movement of Indians to the West in exchange for the market access for merchandise, the statement touched on other issues to be discussed during the three-day visit.

Dr. Singh also drew attention to a new format of interaction with Germany in recognition of its being the engine of Europe. Called Inter-Governmental Consultations — first held in May 2011 — they allow discussions on the full spectrum of the relationship.

Untangling red tape

Germany adopts this format for a few countries, but in Asia, India is the third country, after China and Israel, with which it has deployed this system. Under it, several — about half-a-dozen — Cabinet Ministers face each other to untie bureaucratic tangles and then report on their work to their heads of government before they sit down for the summit.

Besides labour mobility, Dr. Singh will seek greater trade and investment ties with Germany and promised more steps to attract foreign investors and spur the economy to an annual growth of 8 per cent. Western Europe and the U.S., in particular, have been pressing India to ease foreign investment norms and limits in several sectors, especially in defence and insurance.

As the undisputed economic behemoth of Europe, Germany played a key role in stability and growth in the Euro Zone, which had a bearing on the Indian economy, Dr. Singh said.

The two leaders will also discuss the United Nations Security Council reforms, besides the situation in Afghanistan, West Asia and the Asia Pacific region.

More In: National | News

Europeans want only the Indian market to sell their overpriced products, they want no Indians in Europe. That's the message especially from UK & Germany. They are just not interested in cultural exchange as currently they are overrun by xenophobia against migrants (similar to we witnessed in 1930's just before Hitler started his campaign against Jewish migrants).

from:  Anish Khindri
Posted on: Apr 10, 2013 at 12:57 IST

European countries are bent on saving jobs for their own workers rather than allow foreign workers to take them. If there are shortages in certain job categories, their first preference is to import workers from hard hit neighbors such as Spain, Greece, Ireland or even Turkey, where unemployment is running as high as 25%. In the reverse direction, India has hardly been welcoming of business and capital overtures from the West – recall Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) and participation in various sectors is facing fierce opposition - especially from the left leaning parties of India. Europeans are sure to demand of Dr. Singh, what’s in it for them if they allow more Indian workers into their labor markets. Though Dr. Singh is in favor of opening up easier participation of foreign businesses in India, his hands are tied. This trip is an Alpine climb the PM.

from:  Mukundagiri Sadagopan
Posted on: Apr 10, 2013 at 12:38 IST
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Tamil Nadu

Andhra Pradesh

Other States






Recent Article in National

Victims of violence, discrimination narrate their tales

School was not the happy place that 11-year-old Shivani looked forward to going to. And no, the reason wasn’t the ordinary child’s habit... »