Germany to open Consulate General in Bangalore

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New Delhi, Nov 19 (UNI) Germany will open a Consulate General in Bangalore on Friday, the first country to do so in that city.

The Consulate General will be opened by German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier who arrives here this evening on a three-day official visit.

The Foreign Minister will have ''political consultations'' and discussions with the Indian leadership tomorrow on climate change and the current global finacial crisis, including the role of emerging economies in stabilising the situation.

''Foreign Minister Steinmeier will hold talks on bilateral, regional and current international topics. Important subjects will be the situation of the financial markets, the role of the emerging economies for stabilising the world economy and solutions to global challenges, such as climate change,'' a spokesman for the German embassy here said today.

He will be accompanied by a high-ranking business and cultural delegation.

Mr Frank-Water Steinmeier will meet Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee and Leader of Opposition L K Advani tomorrow.

On Friday, he will visit Bangalore to officially open the German Consulate General. Germany is the first country to accredit a Consulate General in the city, the spokesman said.

''India and Germany are strategic partners. Their relationship is characterised by frequent high-level political consultations and particularly close economic ties,'' he said.

With a bilateral trade volume of 12 billion Euros (Rupees 75,357 crore) in 2007, Germany is India's most important trade partner in the European Union.

German companies rank among the top foreign investors in India while more and more Indian companies are investing in Germany.

The External Affairs Ministry said in a statement that this would be the first visit of Dr Steinmeier to India.

''India and Germany have traditionally enjoyed warm and friendly relations and are strategic partners. Regular exchange of high-level visits has further ensured continued momentum in our strategic ties and bilateral relations,'' an External Affairs Ministry said.

German Chancellor, Dr Angela Merkel, visited India from October 29-November 1, 2007. A joint statement on 'Further Development of the Strategic and Global Partnership' was issued that provides a strategic roadmap not only for future cooperation but also for strategic partnership in the promotion of ''shared and cherished'' values in the global arena.

''We have made substantial progress in deepening our cooperation in science and technology and in the area of trade and investment,'' he added.

India was the guest of honour country in the prestigious Hanover Trade Fair 2006, Frankfurt Book Fair 2006, International Tourism Borse 2007 and Berlin Air Show 2008.

UNI RB JT KN1846

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