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Germany announces Euro 1 billion solar power fund

New Delhi: At least 18 MoUs were signed between India and Germany on Monday to scale up ties in strategic areas. A deal to fast track approvals for German companies in India and Euro 1 billion solar power fund by Germany were among major takeaways from the talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Co-chairing the third summit-level Inter-Governmental Consultations, PM Modi and Chancellor Merkel agreed to enhance ties in key areas of defence, security, intelligence, railways, trade and investment, clean energy, besides deciding to work closely to combat threat of terrorism.

"We see Germany as a natural partner in achieving our vision of India's economic transformation. German strengths and India's priorities are aligned.

"Our focus tends to be on economic ties. But, I believe that in a world of seamless challenges and opportunities, India and Germany can also be strong partners in advancing a more human, peaceful, just and sustainable future for the world," PM Modi said at a joint media event with Chancellor Merkel after over three-hour-long talks, both at delegation-level and one-on-one format.

The deal on fast-track approvals process for German firms envisages single point clearance for various projects which is aimed at encouraging more and more German companies to complement PM Modi's "Make in India" initiative and invest significantly.

The Prime Minister noted that the partnership will grow in areas like "defence manufacturing, trade in advanced technology, intelligence, and countering terrorism and radicalism. These are important security dimensions of our expanding relationship."

Germany also announced to provide assistance of over one billion euros for India's solar projects.

The 18 pacts inked included a Joint Declaration of Intent between HRD ministry and the Federal Foreign Office of Germany on promotion of German as a foreign language in India and the promotion of Modern Indian Languages in Germany. The pact is seen as resolution of the sticky German language row.

The pacts signed between the two sides will provide for cooperation in the fields of food safety, new and renewable energy, science and technology, skill development and vocational education, manufacturing, civil aviation, disaster management and agriculture.

Both the leaders also discussed ways to move forward the stalled negotiations on the India-EU free trade agreement.

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