PM Narendra Modi on Thursday embarked on a three-nation tour of France, Germany and Canada that will focus on boosting bilateral trade and economic ties, including in defence and railways.
Modi earlier said his eight-day visit was focused on supporting India’s national economic agenda, especially job creation for the youth. “A common theme of these destinations is that all of them are G7 countries: they are industrialised democracies. We have a considerable economic interest in partnering with these countries which is relevant to our industrial programmes. We have a large political convergence with them,” foreign secretary S Jaishankar told mediapersons.
In France, Modi will be accorded a ceremonial welcome and during his meetings with President Francois Hollande the two leaders will talk economy, defence and energy. They will also hold two back-to-back round-tables with top French CEOs — one focused on economy, infrastructure, energy and the other on defence technology. The India-CEO forum headed by Anil Ambani of Reliance is accompanying Modi and is expected to have several interactions with the European major Airbus.
A highlight of the four-day stay in France will be a boat ride by Modi and Hollande, which is being described as ‘naav pe charcha’ (discussions on a boat).
Modi’s flagship ‘Make in India’ initiative will get a boost when he inaugurates an event in Hannover, Germany, on Sunday, April 12. India hopes to attract high-end technology and investments via the fair to lift domestic growth. In Berlin, Modi will visit office of Siemens. In the last leg of the tour, he will travel to Canada, marking the first standalone visit by an Indian PM in over 42 years.