Strengthening Ties: India, Germany to Collaborate on High Technology, Focus on Closer Defence Partnership

Foreign Affairs

New Delhi: Defence Secretary Giridhar Aramane and German Ministry of Defence State Secretary Benedikt Zimmer chaired the India-Germany High Defence Committee (HDC) meeting in Berlin on February 28, 2024. The two sides discussed a range of bilateral security and defence issues, with a focus on developing the defence cooperation as a key pillar of the strategic partnership between India and Germany.

According to Ministry of Defence press release, Giridhar Aramane and Benedikt Zimmer held talks on the regional situation and discussed on potential defence industrial projects and proposals. The two sides stressed on the need for a closer defence partnership and connecting defence industries of India and Germany.

The India-Germany High Defence Committee (HDC) meeting comes after German Federal Minister of Defence Boris Pistorius’ visit to India in 2023.

The Ministry of Defence release stated, “They exchanged views on the regional security situation, discussed likely joint exercises with Germany in the Indo-Pacific, and deliberated on potential defence industrial projects and proposals.” Adding, “They emphasised on the need for a closer defence partnership and connecting the defence industries from both sides together. Of particular focus was the collaboration in high technology in defence.”

“Strengthening ties: Defence Secretary Shri @giridhararamane and Germany’s State Secretary, Mr. Benedikt Zimmer, co-chaired the India-Germany High Defence Committee meeting in Berlin, fostering deeper collaboration in security and defence realms,” Ministry of Defence Principal Spokesperson A Bharat Bhushan Babu stated in a post on X.

At a meeting of the India-Germany high defence committee (HDC), India and Germany resolved to closely collaborate on high-technology for military use in line with a broader aim to develop defence cooperation as a key pillar of the bilateral strategic partnership. Ways to further bolster strategic cooperation figured prominently. Following the talks, officials said India and Germany are set to carry out joint military exercises in the Indo-Pacific, in reflection of their growing defence ties.

The Defence Secretary interacted with the Federal Association of the German Security and Defence Industry (BDSV) at Berlin. In a meeting organised by BDSV, Defence Secretary outlined the recent changes in the Indian defence industry through progressive reforms, making it attractive to invest in India, and to enter into partnerships with the Indian defence industry. He highlighted that India is progressively moving towards into the next defence innovation, manufacturing and maintenance hub in Asia.

The Managing Director of BDSV Dr Hans Christoph Arzpodien welcomed the Defence Secretary to the event, and provided the German defence industry perspective. The meeting was also attended by P Harish, Ambassador of India to the Federal Republic of Germany. A number of German defence companies were present, represented by their top leadership,  and an engaging discussion on business and investment possibilities was conducted.

Defence Secretary Giridhar Aramane also interacted with a prominent think tank German Institute of International and Security Affairs (Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik – SWP) in Berlin.

India was also among the first countries to establish diplomatic ties with Germany after the Second World War. In 2021, the two nations marked the 70th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations. India and Germany have a ‘Strategic Partnership’ since May 2000, according to Ministry of External Affairs (MEA).

Last week, German Federal Minister of Foreign Affairs Annalena Baerbock visited India to attend the Raisina Dialogue (February 21-24) – India’s premier conference on geopolitics and geoeconomics committed to addressing the most challenging issues faced by the international community. Earlier, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar held a meeting on February 16 with his German counterpart Annalena Baerbock on the sidelines of Munich Security Conference. The two leaders discussed global challenges and the pathway ahead. The two leaders reviewed preparations for the next meeting of India-Germany Inter-Governmental Consultations.