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It this article, we will take a look at PM Modi’s three nation tour that covered France, Germany and Canada.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi began this nine day, three nation tour on April 9, 2015. Over the course of this tour, he visited three countries, namely France, Germany and Canada. The objective of the three nation tour was primarily to attract foreign investors to set up business in India, to hold bilateral talks with various governments regarding strategic sectors and to encourage people to people exchange. All three – France, Germany and Canada – are a part of the G7 – the Group of Seven which comprises the seven wealthiest developed nations. Hence, partnering with these seven nations is crucial for India’s National Development Programme.
Here are some highlights of the PM’s visit to these countries:
- France was the first country to be visited by PM Narendra Modi on this nine day tour. With the focus on the ‘Make in India’ theme, India signed a number of MoUs (Memorandum of Understanding) across various sectors including civil nuclear energy, railways, infrastructure and sustainable development among others.
- The objective of the trip to France was to boost the ‘Make in India’ campaign, re-energise key infrastructure deals between India and France and seek French co-operation in the Defence sector.
- A landmark deal between France and India was signed wherein France agreed to supply 36 Rafale fighter jets in ‘fly away’ condition. The reason this deal was significant is that the Rafale purchase had been trapped in negotiations for years while the Indian Air Force needed more multi role combat aircraft urgently.
- India signed two MoUs related to the Jaitapur Nuclear Power Plant. An MoU was signed between L & T and Areva.
- An MoU was signed between the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and the French National Centre for Space Studies on Indo – French Megha Tropiques satellite.
- An MoU in the field of renewable energy was signed between the respective ministries in India and France wherein France pledged 2 billion euros for sustainable development in India.
- France and India have agreed to co-operate in renovating the Indian Railways. A proposal to develop semi high speed corridor in India was taken up by India and France. In addition, French National Railways has agreed to co-finance an execution study for “a semi-high speed project on upgradation of the Delhi-Chandigarh line to 200 kmph”.
- Narendra Modi visited an aircraft manufacturing facility of Airbus. Airbus promised to increase outsourcing from India from the present 400 million euros to 2 billion euros.
- In France, terming it as India’s right, PM Modi raised the issue of India getting a permanent seat in the United Nation Security Council (UNSC).
- The objective of the PM’s Germany visit was to work towards stronger business and industry ties, skill development, urban development, environment, railways, cleaning of rivers, renewable energy, education, language, science and technology, among other things.
- In Germany, Modi addressed the Indo-German Business Summit in Hannover. The PM stressed on tapping the potential of improved economic collaboration between Germany and India through greater investment, creating positive investment climate and technology partnership. Modi promised to reduce complicated procedures, create one platform – preferably online – and improve ease of doing business in India.
- The PM reiterated the significance of developing India into a manufacturing hub. Both the German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Prime Minister Modi were in favour of a free trade agreement between the European Union and India.
- With a view to enhance the employability of trainees and apprentices, India stressed on increasing the involvement of industry in skill development.
- India sought support for the development of urban planning and infrastructure including (a) co-operation in development of new areas of collaboration, mutual benefit in development of smart cities in India (b) setting up a peer- to -peer network of Municipalities for direct collaboration (c) assistance in the area of affordable housing
- The two countries agreed to promote closer educational exchange and collaboration between universities in India and Germany through the Indo German Strategic Partnership in Higher Education Program. Setting up of an International Centre for Advanced Studies in the Humanities and Social Sciences and enhancing the exchange of scientists between the two countries (within the framework of India’s GIAN initiative) was also proposed.
- On the environment front, the two countries agreed to establish two working groups in the areas of water and waste management. Germany completed the Ganga Scoping Mission in October 2014. Up next on the agenda is co-operation on Ganga River rejuvenation, capacity support for urban sanitation, setting up of standard approaches to industrial pollution and setting up of innovative financial models.
- Both the countries declared that they would promote Research and Development and co-operation in science, technology and innovation by extending the bi-national Indo-German Science and Technology Centre in India with appropriate resources and through a co-operation arrangement between the Ministry of Earth Sciences, India and the Helmholtz Association, Germany.
- The PM’s visit to Canada was a historic milestone in India-Canada bilateral relations as Narendra Modi became the first Prime Minister to visit Canada in 42 years.
- The visit resulted in signing of bilateral agreements and commercial deals worth over $1.6 billion dollars in a broad range of areas, which include energy, railways and transportation, education and skill development, space co-operation and maternal, new-born and childbirth sectors.
- A landmark agreement was signed with a Canadian company, Cameco, with the objective of supplying over 3.175 million kg uranium to India over the next five years for Civil Nuclear Energy purpose.
- Modi also announced visa-on-arrival for Canadian citizens coming to India.
- The two countries agreed to increase collaboration in the field of energy efficiency, oil and gas development and renewable energy.
- India and Canada look forward to an investment worth CAD $ 2.5 million in five health innovations in India.
- Air Canada has said that it plans to have direct flights from Toronto to New Delhi; it is believed that this is an outcome of the PM’s Canada visit.
- The Canadian Prime Minster Harper and Modi agreed to deepen co-operation in fighting against terrorism and violent extremism.
- 13 MoUs (Memorandum of Understanding) were signed between the National Skill Development Council of India and 13 Canadian colleges, institutes, sector skills councils in fields such as agriculture, automotive, aviation, construction, healthcare, hydrocarbons and IT.