French aerospace champion Safran has announced the signing of a mega-contract with India for the supply of aircraft engines. Emmanuel Macron makes a 3-day visit.
Emmanuel Macron has multiplied on Saturday in New Delhi gestures and declarations of friendship towards India , with the ambition to make France the “gateway” of the giant of South Asia in Europe.
“The purpose of this visit is to make India our first strategic partner in the region, and that France becomes your first strategic partner in Europe, and more widely in the West,” the French president said Saturday in the Indian capital. meeting Prime Minister Narendra Modi again, as he has done several times since his arrival the previous evening.
Despite all their differences, India and France “have the same interests and the same vision of the world,” assured the French head of state, who does not hide his ambition to take advantage of Brexit to replace Britain as a privileged partner of New Delhi in Europe.
12 billion to provide aircraft engines
Meanwhile, Paris has garnered some new economic contracts, the largest of which amounts to 12 billion euros in favor of the aerospace group Safran and its partners for the supply and maintenance of aircraft engines to the airline to Low Indian price SpiceJet.
After the sale of 36 Rafale in 2016, no new contract has been announced in the defense, where France hopes to sell new fighter planes and submarines to India, become the first buyer of weapons in the world.
But the French delegation welcomed a “major advance” in the project of a nuclear power plant of six EPR reactors in Jaitapur, on the south-west coast of India. “We hope for a final agreement before the end of the year” for this issue in negotiation for a decade, said the Elysee.
A range of other partnerships, contracts and memoranda of understanding have been concluded in a wide range of sectors, including transport and renewable energy.
The margin of progress is important for France, historically not very influential in India. Indo-French trade reached only 11 billion dollars against 18 billion for those between France and China, the other Asian giant, where Mr. Macron went in January.
Agreement in the Indian Ocean
In terms of security, France and India have signed a logistical cooperation agreement in the Indian Ocean , which allows the Indian armed forces to access the French maritime bases (Djibouti, Emirates, Reunion), and vice versa. versa. France has the largest exclusive economic zone (9.1 million km2 in the Indo-Pacific zone) of these seas because of its territories, sometimes very isolated.
As for India, this agreement is part of its policy of strengthening in this strategic maritime zone, where it is bothering the growing involvement of China.
“We both believe in the peace and stability of the world. The Indian Ocean region will play a very significant role, “Narendra Modi said in a joint address. In this context, “we consider France as one of our most reliable allies,” he added.
For Emmanuel Macron, “a strong part of the stability of the world is played out in the stability of the Indian Ocean”, which, with the Pacific Ocean, “can not become places of hegemony”
In the afternoon, the French president will go to meet the youth during a debate with 200 young Indians, like his long discussion with young Africans in Ouagadougou in November. With the stated ambition to “double the number of Indian students in France in the next two years”.