Three-nation visit to focus on economic agenda, job creation: Modi
NEW DELHI, MARCH 28
[dropcap]P[/dropcap]rime Minister Narendra Modi said his tour to France, Germany and Canada from April 10-16 would be focused on supporting India’s national economic agenda through programmes like Make in India in order to create jobs for the youth.
In a series of tweets, linked to his Facebook post, Modi spoke about his upcoming three-nation tour – his second overseas visit this year after to the Indian Ocean countries of Seychelles, Mauritius and Sri Lanka earlier in March.
“My France, Germany and Canada visit is centred around supporting India’s economic agenda and creating jobs for our youth. Will discuss strengthening India-France economic co-operation and visit some high-tech industrial units outside Paris. In Germany, Chancellor Merkel and I will jointly inaugurate Hannover Messe where India is a partner country. Looking forward to enhancing ties with Canada and interacting with leaders, captains of industry and diaspora in Canada,” he tweeted.“I am honouring long standing invitations from three of our most important partners, who have strong friendships with India.”
On France, where he goes on the first leg, Modi said that he would “seek greater French involvement in our Make in India Programme, including in the defence manufacturing sector”.
Terming France “one of our most important strategic partners”, he said it has stood with India at difficult moments, noting its “understanding and support” after the Pokhran nuclear tests in 1998 and was also then prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s first destination for a bilateral visit thereafter.
He noted the strong cooperation in the defence sector, which “currently includes construction of six advanced submarines in India” as well as in space and in civil nuclear energy co-operation.
There are “huge opportunities for collaboration in the manufacturing and infrastructure with France, including in the railways sector”, he said.
“I also look forward to discussing ways in which we can deepen our security cooperation include counter-terrorism as well as space, cyber and maritime security”.
He said he would visit some of the highly-developed high technology industries outside Paris and as also pay respect at the World War I memorial at Neuve Chapelle, “especially to honour, in the centenary year of the tragic war, the supreme sacrifice of thousands of Indian soldiers, who fought valiantly during World War I”.
In Germany, where he will be From April 12-14, Modi said the main focus would be to participate in the Hannover Industrial Trade Fair, which will be inaugurated jointly by him and German Chancellor Angela Merkel April 12.
“India is the partner country at the Hannover Trade Fair this year. This gives India a special place in the trade fair and a high visibility to our business sector,” he said, adding Indian participation “will be on an unprecedented scale”.
“I intent to use my visit to substantially raise the level of German investments in India, especially in the manufacturing sector, skill development and clean energy,” he said, adding he will hold extensive talks with Merkel both in Hannover and in Berlin.
One key issue would be German support in “expanding our exports to European Union and attracting higher level investments from there”, he said.
In Canada, Modi said he will be hosted by Prime Minister Stephen Harper, who has “played a key role in transforming India-Canada relations”.
“Soon after Independence, Canada was one of our most important developing partners. Today, it has the potential to re-emerge as one of the key economic partners.”
“We look forward to resuming our civil nuclear energy cooperation with Canada, especially for sourcing uranium fuel for our nuclear power plants,” he said.
“Whichever area of national priority we think of, Canada can be an important partner – energy, manufacturing, infrastructure, education, skill, research, food security, etc,” Modi said.
He said the million-strong Indian community in Canada represents India’s rich diversity and is making impressive contribution in all fields there.
“I look forward to my official meetings in Ottawa, interacting with the business leaders in Toronto and reaching out to the Indian community in Toronto and Vancouver.”