India and Hamburg: a sustainable partnership that continues to grow

India’s partnership with Hamburg, Germany’s second-largest city and a major trading hub of Northern Europe, will be further strengthened when Olaf Scholz, First Mayor of the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg, visits India from 15 to 20 October.

Olaf Scholz, government leader of the North-German city-state of Hamburg, will travel to Mumbai and Delhi this week. He will be accompanied by around 40 Hamburg representatives from the spheres of politics, business and culture. Home to Europe’s second-largest container-port, Hamburg is Germany’s main gateway for Indian goods into Germany and the European Union. The majority of trade between Germany and India is conducted through Hamburg, with a volume in excess of USD 1.6 billion in 2011. Hamburg provides Indian enterprises with access to the European market. Around 35 companies, including Mittal-Steel, Tata-Consultancy Services and the wind turbine manufacturer Suzlon-Energy, have head offices in Hamburg. The wind energy sector benefits from the strong infrastructure of Hamburg’s maritime and aviation industries. Airbus, Europe’s biggest aircraft manufacturer, is also based in Hamburg.

Currently, more than 14,000 people work in Hamburg in the field of renewable energy, and this trend is increasing. Over the last few years, international corporations from the wind energy sector have based themselves in Hamburg. Among industry experts, Hamburg is now regarded as Germany’s wind energy capital. India’s economy is developing at a rapid rate, and Hamburg is also enjoying sustained growth. This has led to an increasing demand on both infrastructure and environmental protection. However, Hamburg is not only a leading economic centre of Northern-Europe; it is also a model region of sustainable urban development. In view of this, Mr Scholz will meet Dr Farooq Abdullah, India’s Minister of New and Renewable Energies, at the beginning of his visit.

Hamburg has had its own representative office in Mumbai since January 2011 ( Cities such as Hamburg and Mumbai are the leading economic centres of their respective regions, and well-trained specialist staff will play a key role in the future of these locations. On 16 October, Olaf Scholz and Mallikarjun Kharge, India’s Minister of Labour and Employment, are due to sign a memorandum of understanding regarding the education sector. For several decades now, Hamburg’s higher education institutions have been collaborating with elite Indian universities and research organisations.