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Germany

Germany, India to Discuss Financial Crisis, Climate Change

India and Germany will discuss responses to the global finance crisis and ways to deal with climate change during the visit of German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier due to begin Wednesday night, officials said.

Indian Prime Manmohan Singh, right, talks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel during the signing ceremony, in New Delhi, India, Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2007.

Germany has been increasing its efforts to create stronger bilateral ties with India

Steinmeier scheduled talks with India's Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee and opposition leader LK Advani on Thursday.

"Foreign Minister Steinmeier will hold talks on bilateral, regional and current international topics," a statement issued by the German embassy in New Delhi said.

"Important subjects will be the situation of the financial markets, the role of the emerging economies for stabilizing the world economy and solutions to global challenges, such as climate change," the statement said.

According to Indian officials, the security situations in Pakistan and Afghanistan will also figure in the discussions.

Steinmeier, who is accompanied by a high-ranking business delegation, will also discuss the future international role of India and other emerging economies in stemming the financial slide and in initiating global financial reforms.

Germany's economy, Europe's largest, has been hit by the meltdown that originated in the US and later enveloped Europe and Japan.

India and Germany have forged a strategic partnership and share close ties, characterized by the highest number of visits by German ministers to India in recent times.

Economic and commericial ties strengthened

Steinmeier's visit closely follows visits by German Environment Minister Sigmar Gabriel, Minister for Development Heidemarie Weiczorek-Zeul and Minister for Education and Research Annette Schavan.

Economic and commercial ties have also grown rapidly as India has become Asia's third biggest economy after Japan and China. With a bilateral trade volume of 12 billion euros, Germany is India's most important trade partner in the European Union.

German companies rank among the top foreign investors in India even as an increasing number of Indian firms invest in Germany.

On Friday, Steinmeier is due to travel to the southern city of Bangalore, considered India's information technology hub, where he will open a German consulate. He is scheduled to leave for Berlin on Friday evening.

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