German Chancellor Angela Merkel to visit India next week

Angela Merkel.  PHOTO: Wikipedia

Angela Merkel. PHOTO: Wikipedia

German Chancellor Angela Merkel will visit India next week, the Indian foreign ministry said Wednesday, as the two countries seek to bolster trade and bilateral ties.

Germany has been keen on expanding trade cooperation with India, one of the world’s fastest-growing economies, and a number of agreements are likely to be signed during Merkel’s visit in the first week of October.

Indian foreign ministry spokesman Vikas Swarup confirmed the visit AFP but said the exact dates and the agenda would be announced at a later date.

Local media reports said the possibility of resuming the stalled India-EU Free Trade Agreement negotiations was being worked on by both sides.

India and the 27-member EU have been in negotiations over the market-opening pact since June 2007 to boost bilateral commerce.

But progress has since been stymied by differences over intellectual property rights and efforts by EU to link trade with environmental issues and India’s social sector performance in areas such as child labour.

Merkel last visited India in 2011 and met Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Germany in April this year.

Germany is India’s largest trading partner in Europe, with bilateral trade in 2014 valued at 15.96 billion euros.

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