China syndrome: Germany keen to increase cooperation with Indian startups

 – Gudstory

China syndrome: Germany keen to increase cooperation with Indian startups – Gudstory

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Berlin: German officials are eyeing closer cooperation with Indian startups in other sectors, including mobility, health, energy and advanced materials, after the focus shifted to India due to regulatory and political problems with China, a German government official said. .

China’s stringent COVID-era restrictions also proved a hindrance for German companies, the official said.

The city of Berlin, which is a major hub for German startups, is particularly interested in forming collaborations with Indian startups. AsiaBerlin, an initiative founded and funded by the Government of Berlin, will send a delegation of German startups to India to collaborate with the Indian startup ecosystem.

The delegation of startups will visit New Delhi and Bengaluru and is expected to participate in the Bengaluru Tech Summit. Under a similar programme, the Berlin government hopes to send more founders and research institutes to India next year in an effort to deepen collaboration among the startup ecosystem.

The program has led many German companies to set up a presence in India, while Indian startups in mobility and robotics are looking to set up a presence in Germany. The governments of India and Germany are also supporting these efforts.

However, the official also said that regulatory issues as well as paperwork remain a problem for German companies looking to enter the Indian market.

These moves, while motivated by commercial logic, also come as part of a broader rethinking of Germany’s dependence on China.

China was Germany’s top partner for trade in goods in 2022 with a trade volume of about 300 billion euros. However, concerns over human rights and Beijing’s assertive foreign policy prompted Berlin to release its first China strategy this year.

“For Germany, China remains a partner, competitor and systemic rival. However, over the past few years, the systemic rival aspect has come to the fore more and more. So we don’t have to look very hard to see that China has changed. Anyone who listens to China knows how confidently it will exert a significant influence on the development of our world – more repressively at home, more assertively abroad. China has changed, and so we need to change our approach to China,” German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock explained in a 2023 speech.

The strategy calls for “reducing risks” and reducing Germany’s economic dependence on China. It also supports “anti-coercion” tools that would protect European countries from the coercive economic tactics and tariffs often used by China.

As part of this, Germany is committed to a strategy of diversification by building closer ties with Indo-Pacific countries, including India. Bilateral trade between India and Germany reached 21 billion euros in 2020-21.

The author is in Berlin at the invitation of the German Federal Foreign Office.

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Updated: 07 November 2023, 11:13 PM IST


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