Prime Minister Narendra Modi left for his four-nation Europe tour on Monday morning. The six-day trip will cover Germany, Spain, Russia and France, beginning with a meeting with German chancellor Angela Merkel. The meeting is scheduled at her official country retreat in Meeseberg. This visit will be Prime Minister Modi’s first engagement with the European Union. The focus of the meeting is expected to be on business issues, including stalled negotiations on a free trade deal between the European Union and India. Other topics would be investments, technology and terrorism.
The meeting will be held on Monday evening.
Delhi: PM Narendra Modi departs for Berlin in Germany, on his six-day, four-nation tour of Germany, Spain, Russia and France pic.twitter.com/nYzhw8CU6s
— ANI (@ANI_news) May 29, 2017
Berlin sees New Delhi as a potential ally in defending the global free trade regime against the wave of protectionism Trump represents, since India has also been facing pressure over visas for skilled workers, which pose a problem for its information technology firms operating in the US. It has also been warning about China’s own vision of a new global trade order, with its State-driven One Belt, One Road system, which India has stayed away from. Earlier this month, Germany’s Ambassador to India, Martin Ney, told journalists that “since we have some common questions (about the Belt and Road project) in India and in Germany, this is a good reason why we should be able to sit down and discuss how we should do trade”.