India has been one of the main recipients of German Official Development Assistance (ODA) since the very start of Germany's aid programme. Whereas most aid literature is only concerned with aid effectiveness, this study investigates the motives of Germany as an aid donor to India. It is common knowledge that, in the context of the Cold War, part of this aid was politically motivated. However, contrary to expectations, German ODA to India did not decrease after the fall of the Berlin Wall, which poses the question of what Germany is attempting to achieve with this aid. Recognising the grave importance of manufactured exports for the German economy and the interdependence of development and business interests in Germany, this research paper argues that the rise in German ODA to India after the Cold War is primarily economically motivated. India is an increasingly important market both for sales and procurement of the German export industry. Furthermore, German companies, supported by ODA, are increasingly active in the Indian domestic market, as a case study on renewable energies shows.

Official Development Assistance, aid, ODA, India, Germany, export business assistance, renewable energies
Nicholas, Howard
Social Policy for Development (SPD)
International Institute of Social Studies

Valeske, Josephine. (2019, December 20). Aid for business: The motivation behind Germany's Official Development Assistance to India. Social Policy for Development (SPD). Retrieved from