German President Steinmeier arrives on five-day visit to Indiahttps://indianexpress.com/article/india/german-president-frank-walter-steinmeier-arrives-on-five-day-visit-to-india-5107746/

German President Steinmeier arrives on five-day visit to India

German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier, accompanied by his wife Elke Budenbender, arrived Thursday on his first visit to India as German president. He was received at the airport by Minister of State for Drinking Water and Sanitation S S Ahluwalia.

German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier being accorded welocme by Minister of State for Drinking Water and Sanitation SS Ahluwalia as First Lady Elke Büdenbender looks on, on their arrival at AFS Palam in New Delhi on Thursday. (Source: PTI)

German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier will hold talks with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday to explore ways to further broad base ties between the two countries in a range of areas including trade and investment.

Steinmeier, accompanied by his wife Elke Budenbender, arrived Thursday on his first visit to India as German president. He was received at the airport by Minister of State for Drinking Water and Sanitation S S Ahluwalia.

The German president began his five-day trip with a visit to Varanasi where he took a tour of the Sarnath museum and the archaeological site. He also visited the Mulgandha-Kuti temple where he was welcomed with a traditional ceremony.

German President Frank Walter Steinmeier being presented a momento at Sarnath Museum in Varanasi on Thursday. (Source: PTI)

“The visit is significant as it will be the President’s first visit after the new German government was sworn in yesterday,” Spokesperson, External Affairs Ministry, Raveesh Kumar had said last week.

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On Saturday, Modi and Steinmeier are expected to review the state of bilateral relationship and explore ways to further deepen it.

The meeting will take place at the renovated Sunder Nursery, a 90-acre heritage park in central Delhi. Steinmeier will also meet his Indian counterpart Ram Nath Kovind, Vice President Venkaiah Naidu and External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj.

Tomorrow, the German president will visit Jama Masjid, address a group of students at the Delhi University and speak at a business round table. On Sunday, he will travel to Chennai. His engagements there includes a visit to the IIT, Madras, and addressing a group of business leaders. The next day, he will visit the Shore temple in Mahabalipuram.

Steinmeier had visited India several times in his former capacity as the foreign minister and vice chancellor of Germany. The last German president to visit India was Joachim Gauck in February 2014.

Germany is India’s largest trading partner in Europe and the sixth largest trading partner in the world. India was ranked 24th in Germany’s global trade.

In 2016-17, the bilateral trade turnover was USD 18.76 billion. In 2016-17, India exported goods worth USD 7.18 billion to Germany and imported goods worth USD 11.58 billion.

Germany is the 7th largest foreign direct investor in India and the cumulative German FDI in India from April 2000 to December 2017 is USD 10.71 billion or 2.91 per cent of total FDI, according to official figures.