Modi to sell 'Make in India' campaign abroad

Mr Modi wants to sign key business deals with France, Germany and Canada Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Mr Modi wants to sign key business deals with France, Germany and Canada

Economic and security ties are likely to be high on the agenda of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's talks with the leaders of France, Germany and Canada, papers say.

Mr Modi begins his three-nation tour on Thursday.

He will hold talks with business leaders in Paris on Friday, followed by formal talks and a boat ride on the river Seine with French President Francois Hollande.

He is likely to convince French business leaders about India's improving business atmosphere.

Observers are expecting Mr Modi's government to sign an agreement with French firm Areva to set up nuclear power plants in India.

India's multibillion-dollar deal for Rafale fighter jets made by France's Dassault Aviation is also likely to figure in Mr Modi's talks with Mr Hollande.

The deal has been in the making for more than five years, but both sides have been unable to agree on costs and manufacturing details.

Analysts say a breakthrough is unlikely during Mr Modi's visit, but he will certainly push for a final deal.

"Though the French side is expected to raise the long-pending Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft deal during Modi's visit, defence sources maintained that there are issues which continue to plague the project," says an article in the First Post website.

But Indian officials insist that Mr Modi's visit is not about just one deal and he is likely to focus on other economic issues.

"Mr Modi will travel to three places: the capital Paris for the bilateral visit and meetings with CEOs, to Toulouse to visit the Airbus factory, the French Space authority CNES and discuss building 'smart cities' with officials, and then to the northern town of Lille, where he will drive to a memorial for Indians who fought and died in the first World War," writes The Hindu.

In Germany, Mr Modi will visit an international business fair with Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Mr Modi and Merkel "will have detailed talks in Berlin with focus on how Germany can work with India in its developmental agenda", reports the DNA newspaper.

In the last-leg of his tour, the Indian PM will visit three Canadian cities - Ottawa, Toronto and Vancouver.

India is pitching for a nuclear deal to buy uranium from Canada. He is also likely to reach out to the influential India diaspora in Canada.

Analysts say Mr Modi three-nation tour highlights his ambition to ensure that his "Make in India" campaign works and the country gets uranium to fuel its development agenda.

Mr Modi launched the "Make in India" campaign last year to boost manufacturing at home and create millions of new jobs.

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