Germany and India have had a productive bilateral relationship for the last 60 years. We are partners in the United Nations and share common values on democracy and multi-lateralism. Together we fight climate change and build smart cities. This is why Germany supports the clean energy initiatives of the Indian government and is financing large-scale solar partnership projects to the tune of EUR 1 billion over the next five years. These transmission lines for green energy in seven selected states with high potentials in renewable energy will create “green corridors” through India.
Germany also supports India’s Smart City Mission, especially in Coimbatore, Bhubaneshwar and Kochi. In Kochi German companies have built the world's first airport fully powered by solar energy. This has reduced the carbon footprint by over 3 lakh metric tons, which is equivalent to planting three million trees.
At the German Consulate General in Bengaluru, we are actively engaged in the federal states of Karnataka, with its more than 200 German companies, and Kerala, with about 70,000 German tourists every year.
Business between Germany and India is booming and so is our visa section. It has always been our motto to strengthen the exchange between our two countries. We are happy to report a significant increase in the visa applications every year. This steady rise has put a lot of challenge on our resources. I urge all the students who need a visa for studying in Germany, and all those who have secured a job with a German company, to allow for extra-time for processing of the application, and to plan well in advance. We may not be in the position to help everybody get their visa on time, but I can assure you that we are making sincere efforts from our end.
Bengaluru is where the technological heart of India beats. It is a magnet to foreign investors, a vibrant, thriving and dynamic place full of scientists, researchers, start-ups and creative young people with business ideas - a megacity with plenty of opportunities and a spirit of entrepreneurship. This special background has inspired the Consulate and the Indo-German Chamber of Commerce (IGCC) in Bengaluru to create a platform called BIGSUN, the Bengaluru Indo-German Startup Network. BIGSUN is a win-win initiative for German companies and Indian start-ups. It fosters co-creation and co-innovation among German corporates and Bengaluru based start-ups, offers them easy access to the German market and gives them strong visibility in sector specific events. Combining the German dedication to hardware and engineering and the Indian passion for software, this will boost applications for AI, Industry 4.0 and smart manufacturing.
Besides the Indo-German Chamber of Commerce, the offices of 'Invest in Bavaria' and of the German Engineering Federation (VDMA) support and strengthen the German business presence in Bengaluru. Fraunhofer India brings in the aspect of applied research. The German Academic Exchange Service DAAD in Bengaluru and the German cultural institute Goethe-Institute / Max Mueller Bhavan, present in Bengaluru, Trivandrum and Kochi, make sure that the almost 18,000 Indian students at German universities are well prepared and proficient in the German language. These students will shape the future of our relations and foster Indo-German exchange. After all, as Nelson Mandela put it, “the youth of today are leaders of tomorrow”.
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With best regards,