Chancellor Dr. Merkel,
Respected members of the German delegation,
My colleagues in the cabinet,
I am very pleased to welcome Chancellor Dr. Merkel and her delegation to India. Not only in Germany and Europe, Chancellor Merkel is counted among the leading leaders of long standing service in the world. I am proud and happy that she is a friend of India and mine. As Chancellor for the last nearly one and a half decades, she has contributed significantly in deepening Indo-German relations. I thank her for this. Today we had the 5th meeting of the Inter-Governmental Consultations. I have had the privilege of participating with Chancellor Merkel in three such meetings which are held every two years. This unique mechanism has deepened our cooperation in every field. The agreements, etc. signed today are a symbol of this. I am very happy that far-reaching and strategic cooperation between India and Germany in every field is moving ahead and especially in the field of New and Advanced Technology.
Independent India will be 75 years old in the year 2022. We have set a target of building a new India by then. For India's priorities and requirements in this multi-dimensional effort capabilities of technological and economic power houses like Germany will be very useful. Therefore, we have laid special emphasis on increasing cooperation in areas like New and Advanced Technology, Artificial Intelligence, Skills, Education, Cyber Security. We have decided to develop new possibilities of cooperation in e-mobility, fuel cell technology, smart cities, inland water ways, coastal management, cleaning of rivers and environmental protection. Our cooperation in these areas will also help in joint efforts against climate change. We are encouraging the private sector to further accelerate our increasing participation in trade and investment. Chancellor Merkel and I will meet some of the leading Business and Industry Leaders from both countries. We invite Germany to take advantage of opportunities in defense production in the Defense Corridors in Uttar Pradesh and Tamil Nadu.
Mutual trust and friendly relations between India and Germany are based on shared values like Democracy and Rule of law. Therefore, there is a commonality in our approach towards serious challenges of the world. We will continue to discuss these topics in detail in the evening. We will intensify bilateral and multilateral cooperation to deal with threats like terrorism and extremism. We are grateful to Germany for its strong support to India's membership in export control regimes and various international forums. The two countries will continue their cooperation and efforts to expedite necessary reforms in the Security Council, United Nations and the other international systems.
The future of India-Germany relations is bright. For this, I once again thank you for your efficient leadership and all our colleagues for their valuable cooperation.