Robert Habeck’s trip to India: No “One Family” party in Goa

During the Federal Minister’s visit, trade, energy and climate protection were on the agenda. At the end there was a meeting with the G20 colleagues.

Robert Habeck sits at the conference table in Goa and listens to a speech in headphones

No trance music in the ear, but a speech at the G20 summit of energy ministers: Robert Habeck

PANAJI taz | “Finding a trustworthy partner in India is the reason for the trip,” said Economics and Climate Protection Minister Robert Habeck (Greens). The federal government is unanimous on this point: India should grow closer to Germany, that was also the mantra of Habeck’s three-day visit to India, which ended on Saturday.

According to the “China plus one” strategy, Germany would like to make itself more independent from the People’s Republic, and populous India could play a key role in this. The aim is to promote trade, energy and climate protection. According to the Vice Chancellor, Germany’s relations with India have become “more and more important” due to the changed geopolitical situation. Habeck also emphasized the expansion of renewable energies, which India has long put on the agenda.

Habeck expressed the hope that an agreement on the free trade agreement would be reached, at least in part, before the upcoming elections in India and the EU next year. Chancellor Olaf Scholz had already promised during his visit in February that he would work towards this. A speedy conclusion would give the bilateral exchange of goods and services a further boost, says Stefan Halusa, Managing Director of the Indo-German Chamber of Commerce in Mumbai, to the taz.

The many well-trained, English-speaking workers speak for India, which is why the number of companies from Germany investing in research and development in India is increasing sharply. Among them is, for example, the chip manufacturer Infineon. The AHK currently assumes that there are 2,000 German companies in India. According to a survey by the auditor KPMG, one in four German companies would like to use India for their own research and development by 2028.

Nevertheless, the last visit by a German economics minister was more than ten years ago. This is probably one of the reasons why Habeck made a stop in the financial metropolis of Mumbai. There, visits to the local branches of the Dax companies BASF and Siemens were on the agenda. The trip concluded with the meeting of the G20 energy ministers in Goa, southern India. On the spot, Habeck again condemned the Russian war of aggression. “The motto of the conference is ‘One Family, One Future’, but humanity is not acting like a family at the moment,” Habeck said in Goa. He also warned of the consequences of global warming if decisive action is not taken.

G20 talks proved “difficult” as Russia disagreed with most G20 countries’ condemnation of the war against Ukraine. China declared that the G20 is not the right platform for security issues. A joint communiqué could therefore not be achieved. When it came to promoting and expanding renewable energies, however, the majority of G20 members seemed to speak with one voice, which Habeck welcomed. The goal of tripling the global capacity of renewables to nine terabytes by 2030 was included in the presidency summary by host India, despite the fact that major producers of fossil fuels such as Russia and Saudi Arabia rejected it. However, Indian Energy Minister Raj Kumar Singh stressed that most of the 29-point paper met with approval and would be useful at the forthcoming climate conference in Dubai.

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