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India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi (R) meeting with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz in New Delhi. Image Credit: AFP

Bengaluru: Germany and India agreed to partner on technology to make a transition to renewable energy easier, and deepen defense cooperation and trade during Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s first visit to the South Asian nation as leader.

“We want to further strengthen trade ties between the European Union and India,” Scholz said in New Delhi after meeting Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The chancellor said he would personally make an effort to expedite a trade agreement.

The two sides also agreed to step up cooperation on green hydrogen “to achieve a socially just, economically sustainable secure and affordable energy supply,” according to a joint statement after the meeting.

Scholz and Modi also discussed the war in Ukraine and its associated impact of food and fertilizer shortages. The two sides also agreed to deepen defense cooperation. There were discussions on joint production of defense equipment, India’s Foreign Secretary Vinay Kwatra said at a separate briefing.

German defense manufacturing giant Thyssenkrupp Marine Systems is one of two international contenders to build six conventional diesel-electric submarines in India at an estimated cost of $5 billion.

While Prime Minister Modi said India hopes to work more closely with Germany to “realize the untapped potential in defense cooperation,” Kwatra confirmed that the two leaders also discussed joint design and manufacturing of submarines.