Indo-German Business Talk: Approaches to International Security

The nexus between international security and business is not as far-fetched as one may think. How our global order, international relations and conflict develop and emerge is crucial for business leaders to understand how to operate and succeed in their chosen environments. This narrative becomes clearer and clearer with events such as the global pandemic, regional disputes, migration and environmental degradation.

As a result it is important, arguably more now than ever before, to understand our international security environment and order when thinking what motivates our foreign policy and strategic planning for businesses. The Indo-German friendship and relationship is not new; business and trade have allowed the two countries to maintain strong relations. What is new, however, is the extension of this relationship to issues of global and regional security, be that through hard or soft power methods.

With these thoughts, we must ask ourselves “How can, if at all, Germany and India further their strategic relationship to provide security nationally, regionally and internationally?” These debates were discussed in our most recent Indo-German Business Talk, recorded on 30 August 2023. The Indo-German Centre was joined by three expert panellists: Dr Shanthie D’Souza, Founder and President at Mantraya; Ambika Vishwanath, Co-Founder and Director at Kubernein Initiative; and Dr Christian Wagner, Senior Fellow at the German Institute for International Security and Affairs (SWP).

I would say the watershed moment are the Indo-Pacific guidelines where India was identified as one of the key partners for Germany’s Indo-Pacific policy and since then we have seen an enormous rise in the bilateral relationship… I think we have discovered India to be a very important partner in the future regional security order in the Indo-Pacific and I think it’s going to continue.

Dr Christian Wagner, Senior Fellow, German Institute for International Security and Affairs (SWP)

Our panellists provided detailed insights on different definitions and interpretations of international security, the prospects for collaboration in Indo-German security relations in South and Southeast Asia, Germany’s inclusion of security issues in its foreign policy efforts and the diversification of business.

…maybe some of our [India’s] ideas, some of our learnings in spaces that might be useful for other countries, I think there’s a value here because in many cases, if it works in India, given the complicated nature that India is, it’s possibly in some form or other likely to work in other emerging economies aswell.

Ambika Vishwanath, Co-Founder and Director, Kubernein Initiative

…but from the business point of view it’s to get to the ground and understand what’s happening at the micro level, reach out to people, build that connect, have the communication and then build your strategy and work on it and then, I think, it will turn into something substantial.

Dr Shanthie D’Souza, Founder and President, Mantraya

Our panellists ended the discussion with their recommendations and wishes of Indo-German collaboration; sharing ideas such as ‘mini-lateral’ alliances, triangular cooperation and the ongoing need for a deeper understanding on how to undertake business in either country; whether that’s through an increase of Indian Studies in Germany (and vice-versa) or the effectiveness of establishing partner state relations.

The entire Webinar can be watched via YouTube (see below); you can also contribute to the discussion in the comments!

The Indo-German Business Talk is a monthly webinar, free to panellists and audience members. Subscribe to our mailing list to receive the next invitation.

Interested in learning more about the topic? The Indo-German Centre sponsors the Podcast, Business Diplomacy Today, where a variety of the episodes, always featuring an expert guest, tackles different perspectives of geopolitics and business. Episodes can be listened to directly on the website.