Indo- Baden Württemberg Relations
Within Germany, the State of Baden Württemberg (BW) has emerged as an important pillar of growing and expanding Indo-German relationship.
Recent visits to India: A 17 member State Assembly Committee delegation for Environment, Climate & Energy Policy of Baden-Wuerttemberg led by H.E Mr. Franz Untersteller, Minister for Environment, Climate & Energy of Baden-Wuerttemberg visited New Delhi from December 3-5, 2012. The delegation included MLAs from political parties from CDU, SPD, FDP, Green and DVP. A 6-member delegation led by H.E. Mr. Ingo Rust, State Secretary (Equivalent to Deputy Minister), Ministry of Economics and Finance of the State of Baden-Wuerttemberg, visited Bangalore from January 26-28, 2013 and attended IMTEX 2013, the 16th Indian Metal-cutting Machine Tool Exhibition, with 23 companies.
Dr. Nils Schmid, Deputy Minister-President & Minister of Finance and Economy visited India from 21-17 October 2013. He led a delegation comprising 44 member business and scientific and visited to Bengaluru, Pune, and New Delhi. A 5-member delegation from Stuttgart led by Dr. Martin Schairer, Deputy Mayor of Stuttgart visited Mumbai from January 9-14, 2014 at the 10th Wine Festival ‘Stuttgart Meets Mumbai’ held in Mumbai. A 26-member delegation from Stuttgart led by H.E. Mr. Peter Friedrich, Minister of Federal European and International Affairs, State of Baden-Wurttemberg, accompanied by Mr. Fritz Kuhn, Lord Mayor of Stuttgart and Mayor of Karlsruhe Dr. Frank Mentrup participated at the 11th Wine Festival ‘Stuttgart Meets Mumbai’ from 19-24 January 2015.
Recent visits from India: A 15-member Technology Mission from CII visited Stuttgart from 22-24 June 2014. A 10-member CII delegation participated in the Event “India-100 days after the Elections” on 11-12 September 2014 held at Stuttgart. Mr. Subhash Desai, Minister of Industry, Government of Maharashtra, led a high level official delegation to Stuttgart, after participating at Hannover Messe, during 15-16 April 2015 with a view to promote Maharashtra as a manufacturing hub and to seek cooperation in SMEs and in the sector of skill development. A high level delegation from Karnataka led by Chief Secretary Shri K. Mukherjee visited Bavaria from 13-15 May 2015. Smt. Harsimrat Kaur Badal, Hon’ble Minister of Food Processing Industries, Govt. of India, accompanied by representatives of functional Mega Food Park in India, visited Stuttgart from 14-15th October, 2015, after attending ANUGA Fair at Cologne. During the visit, she interacted with Government officials, representatives of co-operatives and other stakeholders.
In terms of bilateral economic relations with India, Baden-Württemberg is a major driver of the growing Indo-German trade and investment ties. The Indo-Baden Wuerttemberg trade grew by over 250% from Euro 753 million during 2002 to €2.7 billion in 2015 (Indian Exports: Euro 1 billion, & Indian Imports : Euro 1.7 billion).
Baden Württemberg is also an important investment partner with nearly 350 companies from the State already operating in India and some 50 Indian companies having investments in Baden Württemberg. Some of the best known Baden Württemberg investors in India include Daimler AG, Robert Bosch GmbH, SAP AG, Heidelberg Cement, Porsche, Wuerth, Voith, Lapp Cables etc. Prominent Indian investors in Baden Württemberg are: TCS, Infosys, Tata Technologies, Wipro, Motherson Sumi Systems Limited , Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd, etc. Cooperation in higher education and research including exchange of students and scholars is on the rise.
The two sides also have very close and growing cooperation in the fields of higher education, technology and school-level cooperation. Germany is an important source of technology for India and according to the official figures the number of technical collaborations approved from Germany in India since 1991 amounts to 1117, Baden-Württemberg, being a technology hub in Germany should be a major partner in this regard.
German Centre Delhi, Gurgaon: Landesbank of Baden-Wurttemberg (LBBW) in collaboration with Bavarian Landesbank (BayernLB) had set up the German Centre in India at Gurgaon in 2008. This Centre aims to facilitate mutual trade and investments.
An MOU on the establishment of a Sister-State Relationship for closer cooperation and exchanges in all fields to increase mutual understanding and friendship and to promote common prosperity between the State of Maharashtra and the State of Baden-Wurttemberg was signed in Mumbai on 22 January 2015.
An MOU has been signed between the City of Karsruhe and Mahratta Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture (MCCIA), Pune, in January 2013. The objective of that MOU is to enable the partners to identify Indian and German companies respectively in each others’ region and to facilitate the process of marketing the attractiveness of the respective regions as business destinations. Mayor of Karlsruhe Dr. Frank Mentrup visited Pune during 19-24 January 2015 in the context of the existing MOU.
Stuttgart-Mumbai Partnership: The City of Stuttgart and City of Mumbai have a twinning agreement since March 1968, making them ‘sister cities’. The objective of this ‘City Partnership’ was to “promote friendly contacts, respect, mutual understanding and lasting friendship” between the inhabitants of the two cities. An annual meet titled ‘Stuttgart meets Mumbai’ takes place on the basis of this twinning agreement in Mumbai. In the recent years, a delegation from the City of Stuttgart led by the Lord Mayor, has been visiting Mumbai as part of the ‘Stuttgart meets Mumbai’ to strengthen cooperation in business, education, health and culture. Since 2004, the City of Stuttgart has also been organizing a wine festival in Mumbai as part of ‘Stuttgart meets Mumbai’ event. The 11th Wine Festival was organized in Mumbai in January 2015.
India Week in Stuttgart: India Week in Stuttgart has been annually organized since 2004. The event in July, 2008 marked the 40th Anniversary of Stuttgart-Mumbai partnership. The 12th Indian Summer and the Indian Film Festival & yoga and Ayurveda events took place at Stuttgart in July 2015. Apart from a variety of cultural events, the Indian Summer 2015 also included several business meetings/conference.
CMT Stuttgart 2016: CMT (Caravan, Motor, Touristik) Travel Fair is held every year in the city of Stuttgart and considered to be the world’s largest consumer show for tourism and leisure. In 2016, India participated as a Partner Country - for long haul destination.
Installation of Gandhi Bust at Stuttgart: A Bust of Mahatma Gandhi, sculpted by Gautam Pal and gifted by the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR), was installed on 17 July 2013 in Mahatma Gandhi Street, Stuttgart, which is a prominent location.
Ayurveda/Yoga in Baden-Württemberg: The black forest area of Baden-Württemberg has several popular Ayurveda centres. The International Day of Yoga was celebrated in Schwaebisch Hall on 21 June 2015.
Cooperation in Higher Education: The various universities in Baden-Wurttemberg have numerous cooperation agreements with nearly 60 universities from India. On the Baden-Wurttemberg side, important institutions involved in this cooperation include Universities of Freiburg, Heidelberg, Karlsruhe, Ulm, Hohenheim, and Pforzheim, besides the Institute of South Asian Studies, Heidelberg. On the Indian side, the major Universities/institutions are JNU; CDRI (Lucknow); IITs (Delhi, Chennai, Kharagpur and Mumbai), IISc (Banglaore); Indian Institute of Information Technology (Bangalore), Anna University (Chennai), Indira Gandhi Research Centre (Kalpakkam), India Statistical Institute (Kolkata), University of Delhi, Hyderabad; ICSSR (New Delhi), IGNCA (New Delhi), IIM (Ahmedabad), IIFT (New Delhi).
Cooperation in School Education: In August, 2005, the Ministry of External Affairs and the German Foreign Office approved a proposal for reciprocal arrangement for grant of courtesy visas to groups of school children from both sides, for promoting closer people to people contacts. Under this initiative, nearly 40 schools from the State of Baden-Wurttemberg have entered into exchange programmes with reputed Indian schools from different States. In sequence to this, about 450 students and 50 accompanying teachers from BW state have been visiting India during the last three years. In fact, the number of German students intend to visit under this student exchange programme is rising.
Indian Students in Baden-Wurttemberg: As per the latest figures, around 1380 Indian students are registered at various universities in Baden-Wurttemberg, mainly at Heidelberg, Stuttgart, Karlsruhe, Freiberg and Tubingen. These students are involved in frontier areas of S&T research.
Indian Community in Baden-Wurttemberg: As on 31st December 2014, there were 13081 NRIs and about 7600 could be PIOs living in BW, making a combined strength of 20,700.
Honorary Consulate in Stuttgart: India has a long tradition of maintaining an Honorary Consulate in Stuttgart, which has continued even after the establishment of CGI, Munich in the year 2002. The present Honorary Consul is Mr. Andreas Lapp, a well-known industrialist from Germany. The Lapp Group with an annual turn over of over Euro 1 billion has operations in as many as 36 countries including India. A global cable brand, the Lapp Group started their Indian operations in Karnataka in 1997. Mr. Lapp has also been regularly organizing the India Summer/Week in Stuttgart and actively supports the City authorities in organizing ‘Stuttgart meets Mumbai’ events. He is also the Convener of the Stuttgart Chapter of German India Round Table (GIRT). As part of his own establishment in Stuttgart, he also operates an India Business Centre.