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Germany-India Ties To Improve Drastically One Year From Now: German Ambassador Lindner

In an interaction with BW Businessworld’s Manish Kumar Jha, Ambassador Lindner talked about the two great leaders of our time and their messages in the world today.

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At the Gandhi-Mandela Peace Initiative held on 11th July, 2019, German ambassador to India Walter Lindner truly was a major talking point. It began with a concert from Grammy Award winning artist and environmentalist Ricky Kej. To everyone’s surprise, he invited Ambassador Lindner up on the stage to perform along with him. Ambassador Lindner surprised everyone with his masterful performance on the flute, adding to the melodies of Kej and company. Later, in an interaction with BW Businessworld’s Manish Kumar Jha, Ambassador Lindner talked about the two great leaders of our time and their messages in the world today.

We have a deeply historic relation with Germany, and Germany being one of our top trading partners, not just from the EU but the world. But today, we are celebrating two leaders who have shaped mankind: Nelson Mandela and Mahatma Gandhi. How do you see these two leaders and their messages in the context of environment that we face today? How do young Germans interpret their message? 

 When the link between India and Germany is mentioned, the first thing that people say is “Mahatma Gandhi”. The same thing with South Africa, Nelson Mandela’s name comes up. Those 2 are icons. A generation seldom sees two such iconic figures near about the same time. And Gandhi’s message was so simple yet so necessary: Peace, Respect and Kindness for all things in the world, be it nature, animals, people etc. The philosophies and legacies of both men will live on for the next 500 years. 

Gandhi’s thoughts and beliefs are not only universal, but simple and profound. How do you see his message working in today’s complexities and environment? The economic and political situation is complex. Do you find his message still fitting in today’s world?

Today’s world is indeed very complicated. For anyone in any walk of life. The values of Mahatma Gandhi, in a world that is ever-changing and complexifying, Gandhi’s message of good and bad, what to do and what not to do, is still very important to help establish your own moral standards. 

You discussed the world being on the brink of an environmental crisis, almost like a panic situation. How do companies from Germany try tackle issues of sustainability and environmental crisis?

There are so many environmental challenges in our way. One could be tempted to throw in the towel and say “There is no hope” but as human beings, we cling to hope and so far we have managed to find solutions for most of our problems like health, technology so I think we should all come together and combine our brain and technological capacity in order to take care of this “panic” situation. Germany is famous for its engineering and technological capacity, and we are ready to help wherever we can by helping find alternatives that can help alleviate the crisis to a great extent. 

India and Germany, like I mentioned are extremely good partners and in fact, Germany is biggest partners in terms of trade and investment. But it remains within $ 21 Billion. How do you see India and Germany’s bilateral trade realizing the full potential?

 We are doing well, but we can always do better. There is always room for improvement. I just arrived as ambassador a few months ago and it is my intention to improve it and have better numbers by the end of the year. PM Modi is focused on improving investment numbers in the country, and that is what German companies want to hear. PM Modi and Chancellor Merkel are on great terms and they constantly talk about how India and Germany can improve trade relations. We are constantly striving to do better, and I guarantee, if you ask this question next year, we will be at a completely higher level of relations between India and Germany.

World today is facing another crisis which sees no barriers in killing humans and even children. This stifles the peace among us. How does Germany approach PM Modi’s call for a global alliance against terrorism? 

Obviously we are a part of it, we support it. Every country is against terrorism, no matter how big or small, where you are, you are faced with this massive threat of terrorism. We have to work together. No one nation can do this by themselves. A global alliance is the need of the hour. So obviously we will do everything in order to be a part of and support the global alliance against terrorism.


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