05/10/2015 6:37 PM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:25 AM IST

Germany Announces € 1 billion Solar Power Fund For India

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, left and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, pose with a tenth century idol of Hindu goddess Durga, that was returned by Germany in New Delhi, India, Monday, Oct. 5, 2015. Merkel is on a three-days official visit to India. (Atul Yadav/ Press Trust of India via AP) INDIA OUT

NEW DELHI -- A deal to fast track approvals for German companies in India, and a €1 billion solar power fund in India, were among the major takeaways from the talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chancellor Angela Merke, with both sides inking 18 MoUs to scale up ties in strategic areas.

Modi and Merkel agreed to enhance ties in key areas of defence, security, intelligence, railways, trade and investment, clean energy, and combating terrorism.

"We see Germany as a natural partner in achieving our vision of India's economic transformation. German strengths and India's priorities are aligned," said Modi at a joint media event with Merkel after over three-hour-long talks.

"Our focus tends to be on economic ties. But, I believe that in a world of seamless challenges and opportunities, India and Germany can also be strong partners in advancing a more human, peaceful, just and sustainable future for the world," he said.

The deal on fast-track approval for German firms envisages a single point clearance for various projectsm which is aimed at encouraging more =German companies to complement Modi's "Make in India" initiative and invest = significantly.

Modi noted that the partnership will grow in areas like "defence manufacturing, trade in advanced technology, intelligence, and countering terrorism and radicalism."

"These are important security dimensions of our expanding relationship," he said,

Following the talks today, Germany announced assistance of over one billion euros for India's solar projects.

The 18 pacts signed included a Joint Declaration of Intent between HRD ministry and the Federal Foreign Office of Germany on promotion of German as a foreign language in India and the promotion of Modern Indian Languages in Germany. The pact is seen as resolution of the sticky German language row.

Both the leaders also discussed ways to move forward on the stalled negotiations over the India-EU free trade agreement.

Modi and Merkel shared their concerns about the global reach of terrorism and extremism, and they agreed to build closer collaboration to counter these threats, and decided to have meetings of the Joint Working Group on Counter Terrorism between the two sides.

A joint statement said Germany welcomed India's intensified engagement with various export control regimes like the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR), Australia Group and the Wassenaar Arrangement.

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