Global cooperation Speaking before the G20 meeting, Minister Schulze said: “Working together with India is the only way to solve global problems.”

Development Minister departs on visit to India

Press release 9 June 2023 | Development Minister Svenja Schulze will consolidate cooperation with India aimed at dealing with global tasks. Prior to the meeting of the G20 development ministers in Varanasi on 11/12 June, the Minister will have political talks in the Delhi area on 9 and 10 June, and will visit development projects. The focus will be on global food security, the energy transition, efforts to clean up rivers and oceans, providing a clean water supply and waste management. This is not just a matter of sustainable development for India. It is above all a question of working with India in order to make progress at the global level.

Development Minister Schulze said: “All the problems affecting us worldwide also affect India. Climate change, for example, is having an especially dramatic impact in India, where extreme heat waves, droughts and flooding are being seen. At the same time, it can also be said that all the problems that can be resolved in India can very probably be resolved worldwide as well. That is why we are working with India not just on the country’s own development but also in a joint effort to support sustainable development worldwide. This applies, for example, in the area of food security: India has learned the painful lesson that agro-ecological approaches are better in the long run for the soil and for small farmers. There is a lot of expert knowledge available when it comes to good ways of producing food. Last year, for example, India decided to put a focus on agro-ecological approaches, in order to be less dependent on fossil-based fertilisers or expensive pesticides. This includes growing millet, a grain that is also able to withstand very arid conditions, making it more climate-resistant than other types of cereals. We want to share this knowledge in the future with other partners in places like Africa.”

India is the most populous country in the world and the fifth biggest economy. The Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) is working with India in areas that are necessary for a just and liveable world to be possible in the future: renewable energy, sustainable agriculture and climate resilience, sustainable urbanisation, feminist development policy and social protection. The annual amount of support going to India for this cooperation is about one billion euros and since the country’s economy is quite strong this support mainly takes the form of reduced-interest loans.

As one of the biggest producers of agricultural goods worldwide, India is a crucial partner in efforts to make the global agricultural and food sector sustainable. India can serve here as a shining model for the rest of the world. Germany supports India’s agro-ecological approach for a sustainable, climate-smart agricultural sector that contributes to food security while also reducing dependency on expensive fossil-based imported fertilisers or pesticides. Besides cooperating on projects in India itself, Germany and India are also making this agro-ecological expertise available to other developing countries. This kind of joint triangular cooperation in the area of agro-ecology is currently being planned with some countries in Africa.

Other topics that Minister Schulze will address during her visit to India on Friday and Saturday are the energy transition and sustainable urban development, and also efforts to clean up rivers and oceans.

On Sunday and Monday, at the meeting of the G20 development ministers, the topics will include preparations for the heads of state and heads of government summit in September, which is meant to have a strong development policy focus (Green Development Pact). Development Minister Schulze wants to lobby here for gender equality in line with her feminist development policy: because equal rights for girls and women in all their diversity are more than just a question of fairness; they also lead to better development worldwide. They can help make a better job of achieving several of the globally agreed Sustainable Development Goals. A second important priority for Minister Schulze is driving forward the reform of the World Bank, with a view to mobilising more money for climate action and other global tasks. Support from the world’s emerging economies is also a key factor. As G20 chair, India has a key role to play here.

Minister Schulze said, “With India as G20 chair, we have here a strong partner that we can work with in order to drive forward sustainable development. The G20 is the crucial body for this, because it brings together the biggest economies and is a bridge to the developing countries. However, developing countries often do not have strong enough representation in international bodies. I am convinced that the decisions made by the G20 will become better and fairer if the African Union has a seat at the table with equal standing. Germany will certainly be calling for the AU to be included.”