Chancellor Scholz’s Visit to India and Interaction with Young Professionals
On 25 February 2023, Chancellor Olaf Scholz made his first visit to India since taking charge last year. This visit sought to deepen and expand relationships between the two countries on multiple fronts. Apart from security, economic stability, trade relations and development of IT, the Chancellor highlighted the need for cooperative efforts to fight climate change, which he termed as the ‘centre topic for the future of mankind’.
In this context, he appreciated the role the Indo-German Partnership for Green and Sustainable Development (GSDP) will play and reiterated the need to strengthen and develop it further. As part of the sixth round of Inter-Governmental Consultations, the GSDP was established last year. It aims to intensify bilateral, trilateral and multilateral cooperation to address the challenges posed by climate change, and to meet the commitments of the Paris Agreement and Sustainable Development Goals. Through this partnership, Germany intends to strengthen its financial and technical cooperation with India, with a long-term goal of at least 10 billion Euros of new and additional commitments until 2030.
During his one-day visit in Delhi, the Chancellor’s engagement extended beyond the high echelons of the Indian Government, as he met young professionals from various sectors. Colleagues from GIZ India, namely Priyanka Kohli, Neha Kanitkar, Nidhi Sarin, Amegh Gopinath, Somya Bhatt, Narendra Verma, and Meghana Kshirsagar, had the opportunity to meet and interact with the Chancellor in a “Question and Answer” session.
In response to these questions, the Chancellor spoke about the need for creating an environmentally friendly ecosystem critical for fighting climate change, elaborating and implementing strong feminist policies and accelerating the implementation of sustainable lifestyles in line with India’s ‘Lifestyle for Environment (LiFE)’ agenda. He also shed light on the role Germany can play in supporting India in its energy transition, particularly German businesses which are keen to work with the Indian private sector on renewable energy technologies, especially solar, wind, biomass and hydrogen. It became clear that private sector engagement is very much needed to further promote the GSDP. Skill development was also an important topic of discussion; while speaking about it, he revisited the previous and ongoing efforts the two countries have been making, particularly in vocational education and training through needs-based support for training programmes for students and young professionals. On the lines of future engagements, the Chancellor spoke about Germany’s interests to continue building, strengthening and enhancing the Indian skilling ecosystem, albeit allowing for training opportunities in Germany as well.
The Green and Sustainable Development Partnership is at the centre of GIZ India’s work. The Chancellor’s visit highlights the importance of all sectors GIZ is active in for the successful implementation of this Partnership. His visit marks a milestone in the joint efforts between Germany and India to contribute to a better, healthier, and cleaner future for the citizens of India.