Indo-French Relations.

Discussion in 'Foreign Relations' started by rajkoumar, Dec 19, 2009.

  1. rajkoumar

    rajkoumar Regular Member

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    France and India have extensive strategic co-operation, with the military services of both nations conducting joint exercises. India has purchased much military equipment from France, especially the French Mirage 2000 fighter aircraft and the Scorpène class submarines. France was one of the few nations who did not condemn India's nuclear tests in 1998 and has supported India's bid to become a permanent member of the U.N. Security Council as well as G-8. France is one of the largest suppliers of nuclear fuel to India, and signed a "Framework Agreement for Civil Nuclear Co-operation" in January 2008 during French President Nicolas Sarkozy's visit to India. During the Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's visit to France after India's waiver from the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), both nations signed an agreement that would pave the way for the sale of French-made nuclear reactors to India on September 30, 2008. France and India also maintain a discreet "strategic dialogue" that covers joint cooperation against terrorism. However, India has objected to France's military assistance to Pakistan, with whom it is in conflict. In July 2009 the French government invited the Indian prime minister Manmohan Singh to be their chief guest at the French national day (Bastile day) celeberations. Both countries pledged for closer economic, strategic & cultural cooperation on this occassion.
     
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  3. rajkoumar

    rajkoumar Regular Member

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    In January 1998, before reaching New Delhi, then French president Jacques Chirac had declared that he was keen on an "ambitious partnership" with India.
     
  4. rajkoumar

    rajkoumar Regular Member

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    Ranjan Mathai, the Indian ambassador in Paris, is satisfied. "Indeed it is a partnership which has grown in strength and maturity. We are moving into concrete steps in all strategic fields," he said.
     
  5. rajkoumar

    rajkoumar Regular Member

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    Because of the language barrier, only 1,300 Indian students are today studying in France.
     
  6. rajkoumar

    rajkoumar Regular Member

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    Area troubles both sides

    The low scale of economic exchanges between the two nations. When Sarkozy visited India in January, he spoke of doubling bilateral trade to 12 billion euros by 2012. Both Paris and New Delhi agree that 6.5 billon euro annual business is small considering the size of the two economies. Though in 2007, bilateral trade grew 26 percent, the issue will figure in the discussions here.
     
  7. rajkoumar

    rajkoumar Regular Member

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    India and France in nuclear deal

    The deal has been hailed by both leaders
    India and France have signed a major co-operation pact which paves the way for the sale of French nuclear reactors to Delhi, officials say.

    The nuclear accord was agreed in Paris between Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and President Nicolas Sarkozy.

    The deal "will form the basis for enlarged bilateral co-operation in the fields of energy and research", the French presidency said in a statement.

    France is a leading world exporter of civilian nuclear technology.
     
  8. rajkoumar

    rajkoumar Regular Member

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    'India values its nuclear partnership with France, Russia'

    After meeting President George W Bush in Washington, DC, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh flew to Marseille, France, for the yearly European Union-India Summit. Dr Singh will then arrive in Paris where he is expected to sign an agreement in the field of civil nuclear cooperation with French President Nicolas Sarkozy.
    Senior rediff.com Contributor Claude Arpi spoke to Ranjan Mathai, India's ambassador to France, to discuss not only the nuclear deal which will soon be operational and will have no other conditionality than the ones imposed by the Nuclear Suppliers Group waiver in Vienna , but also all other aspects of the Indo-French relations, ten years after the signature of a privileged strategic partnership with France in January 1998.

    Let us first take the bilateral relations between France and India. 10 years ago, a strategic partnership agreement was signed between the two nations. It was one of the first to be signed. What is your assessment of this partnership today?

    Indeed, it is a partnership which has grown in strength and maturity. We are today moving into concrete steps in all strategic fields.

    Take first the field of space. We are increasing collaboration and have reached the stage where India's launch capacities will be used by France and its European partners. Then take defence -- we have a number of ongoing projects which are important to both sides.

    Of course, there is the well-known Scorpene submarine project. Then there is the upgrade (you call it 'retrofitting') of the Mirage (fighter aircraft) which is crucial for our air force. There is also some ongoing discussion on a collaboration on missiles.

    With MBDA (a subsidiary of EADS of France and BAE of UK)?

    Yes, between MBDA and its Indian counterpart. In the months to come, we are hoping for some substantial progress in all this.

    What about the 126 fighter planes for which bidding is opened?

    It is an international tender opened to the major manufacturers. We understand that Dassault of France is one of the bidders. Though (in this case) evaluation and discussions have just started.

    One issue which has been at the centre of the political stage in India is the nuclear deal. The media and the politicians have projected the deal as a US nuclear deal, though other players, mainly France and Russia [Images], have been involved from the start. Do you see it as a US nuclear deal only?

    Let me put it this way. I don't know what the media is saying, but we, the Government of India, have always valued the potential of its partnership in the field of civil nuclear energy with both France and Russia.

    Specifically for France, we expect that the bilateral agreement which was prepared earlier (and initialed) during the visit of President Sarkozy to India (in January 2008) will be signed during the prime minister's visit to France.

    I must say that we appreciate very much the role of France during the talks with the NSG and the IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency).

    Has France been very supportive?

    France has indeed been very active and supportive of India, not only during bilateral negotiations but also with other European partners and other members of these fora, particularly during the NSG negotiations. I have formally conveyed India's appreciation to the French government.

    Reprocessing is not mentioned in the agreement previously initialed. Will you discuss this point during the bilateral talks?

    I don't want to comment on the details. All matters related to civil nuclear cooperation will be discussed between both parties and the implementation will be made by the designated agencies of the two sides.

    Both France and India have been facing attacks in Afghanistan in recent months. The French public is seriously concerned after the killing of 10 French soldiers and the Indian embassy was bombed in Kabul. Is there any collaboration between the two sides? Are you satisfied with the strategic dialogue on terrorism?



    These are two different questions; though there are inter-relationships. One is in the general field of counter-terrorism or joint action against terrorism. We are at the stage of exchanging information.

    We have a strategic dialogue (held twice a year between the Indian national security advisor and his French counterpart). The fight against terrorism is an important part of this dialogue. As the result of these regular meetings, the coordination (in the fight) against terrorism and the flow of information is improving. We hope that it will even become more effective in the coming years.

    With regard to Afghanistan, we have always been in favour of international efforts for the stabilisation and reconstruction of the country. We ourselves have been involved in the field of economic reconstruction. We have taken up several projects (roads, etc) and we are training the Afghan forces.

    The Afghan government has the Afghan National Development Strategy Plan which embodies the strategic priorities and aspirations of the Afghan government and people. We are supporting it, not only bilaterally (between India and Afghanistan) but also internationally. The national security of Afghanistan is part of the development strategy.

    In June we participated in the international conference convened by the government of France and held in Paris. We then reiterated our support for the reconstruction and development activities of the Karzai government. We welcomed the role of France in bringing all concerned countries together.

    The loss suffered by the French troops was a shock not only for France, but also for India. In fact our defence minister (A K Antony) has written to (Herve Morin) his French counterpart expressing India's shock and has presented our condolences for the French losses.

    One of the criticisms against NATO is that it is not doing enough for the reconstruction like India is doing. Being geographically, historically and culturally closer to Afghanistan, could India advice NATO and France in this matter?

    I don't think we would like to advise anybody, certainly not any international organisation, but in all our statements, in all our dialogues, we have repeatedly said that the Afghans themselves have devised as a consensus what they call their national development strategy, which includes security and reconstruction. Anything fitting into this is conducive for international cooperation.

    About economic relations, President Sarkozy spoke of doubling the bilateral trade with India (to 12 billion euros) by 2012. Is it achievable? In which field do you see the most scope of growth?

    It is important to remember that the 6 or 6.5 billon euros bilateral trade is very small considering the size of our two economies and the large size of our foreign trade. It is certainly not enough. In 2007, foreign trade grew at 26 per cent. If we are able to maintain this pace, the 12 billion euros target should be achievable even before 2012.

    We are looking at an increased French investment in India (and a significant Indian investment in France). Investment-led trade could be a major factor in the years to come, particularly in infrastructure and high technologies.

    What about nuclear cooperation?

    Once the agreement gets off the ground and when groups like Areva come (to India), there will be a major increase in trade. Even now, if you look at trends in infrastructure, cement, railways, autos, etc. there is a great potential.
     
  9. rajkoumar

    rajkoumar Regular Member

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    India, France Discuss Submarine, Mirage Deals

    NEW DELHI, 29 April 2003 — French Defense Minister Michele Alliot-Marie yesterday pledged stronger military ties with India at the end of talks here with Indian leaders focused on the supply of submarines and fighter jets.

    The situation in postwar Iraq, the need for humanitarian aid in Afghanistan and the issue of Kashmir, where rebels have been waging an anti-Indian rebellion since 1989, were also discussed, Alliot-Marie told a media conference.

    But India skirted the thorny subject of French military assistance to rival Pakistan during the minister’s talks with Deputy Prime Minister Lal Krishna Advani and her Indian counterpart George Fernandes.

    “This topic was not touched and the talks were on intensification of our relationship,” Alliot-Marie said in reply to a question whether India pressured France about its sale of Augusta submarines to rival Pakistan.

    The French defense minister told reporters: “Our long-term defense ties are going to get deeper because we have similar vision that there should be international democracy in the world.”

    “But a country will be heard only if it has credible defense and so Indian and French ties are very, very important,” she said.

    Alliot-Marie said the possible sale to India of six French-designed Scorpene submarines as well as Mirage fighter planes also came up in the talks.

    “There is a project for the supply of two or more submarines and it is for India to tell us how many they want but we are at a point where an agreement could be reached by the end of the year,” she said.

    According to Indian sources, the two-billion-euro ($2.1 billion) project involves the construction of six Scorpene submarines and a partial transfer of technology.

    According to analysts here, the diesel-propelled Scorpenes, each weighing about 1,600 tonnes when in water, could be built over 15 years at Mazagon Docks in western India.

    If the deal is signed in 2003, the first Indian-built Scorpene will be ready in 2010 and the sixth in 2016. However India is pressing Paris to stop the sales of French weapons to Pakistan before clinching the Scorpene deal.

    New Delhi is also planning to buy around 130 fighter jets, and French aircraft manufacturer Dassault Aviation is pursuing talks with India on selling a number of its Mirage 2000s 2000-5 warplanes.

    Other rivals in the race are Lockheed Martin of the United States, which is offering its F-16 fighting Falcons, and Russia with its upgraded MiG-29 and Sukhoi-30MKI warplanes.

    Alliot-Marie said France was willing to allow India to build Mirage jets under license if it clinched a deal, estimated to be worth hundreds of millions of dollars.

    “We mentioned the possibilities of aircraft and we have a proposal which is under study in India. We are offering technology transfer and local manufacture (of Mirage jets).

    “But I did not come to sign deals but to develop partnerships and relations in India,” she said.

    “The armament partnership between India and France has existed for many years now and there are a number of prospects ... our relationship is not just commercial but is bound by a framework of trust as there are guarantees that our contracts will be honored,” she said, adding that France also offered glitch-free after-sales spares supply.

    “The contracts are the starting point of transfer of technology and this is true partnership,” the defense minister said.

    The high level military and security dialogue between the French minister and Fernandes confirm the new importance being assumed by Indo-French ties.
     
  10. rajkoumar

    rajkoumar Regular Member

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    Economic relations

    France holds approximately 1.7% of the market share in India, making it India’s 15th supplier and 11th customer.

    After exceeding the one billion euro mark in 2001, French exports increased sharply in 2004 (+29%) and in 2005 (+42%), for a total of nearly €3 billion in 2007. Professional capital goods account for two thirds of French sales in India, against approximately 25% for products intended for processing and 10% for consumer goods in the broad sense.

    Despite the recent establishment of major French industrial groups in India, France’s economic presence is still limited, although the Indian market presents considerable prospects in many areas in which French companies excel. Today, more than 300 French companies are established in India, employing over 40,000 people. France is the seventh-biggest foreign investor in India (total of approximately USD 750 million).

    During his State visit to India in January 2008, the French President and the Indian Prime Minister set the target of reaching €12 billion in trade in 2012. While major French companies are already looking to India in increasing numbers, the goal is also to get SMBs involved in these efforts and to promote their access to the Indian market. This initiative is passing through the negotiation of an intergovernmental agreement on social security to facilitate professional mobility, as well as the promotion of business clubs and contacts between French and Indian entrepreneurs
     
  11. rajkoumar

    rajkoumar Regular Member

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    Economic relations

    France holds approximately 1.7% of the market share in India, making it India’s 15th supplier and 11th customer.

    After exceeding the one billion euro mark in 2001, French exports increased sharply in 2004 (+29%) and in 2005 (+42%), for a total of nearly €3 billion in 2007. Professional capital goods account for two thirds of French sales in India, against approximately 25% for products intended for processing and 10% for consumer goods in the broad sense.

    Despite the recent establishment of major French industrial groups in India, France’s economic presence is still limited, although the Indian market presents considerable prospects in many areas in which French companies excel. Today, more than 300 French companies are established in India, employing over 40,000 people. France is the seventh-biggest foreign investor in India (total of approximately USD 750 million).

    During his State visit to India in January 2008, the French President and the Indian Prime Minister set the target of reaching €12 billion in trade in 2012. While major French companies are already looking to India in increasing numbers, the goal is also to get SMBs involved in these efforts and to promote their access to the Indian market. This initiative is passing through the negotiation of an intergovernmental agreement on social security to facilitate professional mobility, as well as the promotion of business clubs and contacts between French and Indian entrepreneurs
     
  12. Armand2REP

    Armand2REP CHINI EXPERT Veteran Member

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    Since when did French military products that India doesn't use become part of a thread about our relations?
     
  13. RPK

    RPK Indyakudimahan Senior Member

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    http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/article830286.eceFrench Admiral to visit India to strengthen military ties


    In a bid to enhance military ties between the two countries, French Chief of Defence Staff Admiral Edouard Guillaud will be on a four-day visit to India starting Saturday.

    The French Admiral is scheduled to hold meetings with top brass of Indian military including his counterpart Chairman of the Chiefs of Staff Committee Air Chief Marshal P V Naik, Navy chief Admiral Nirmal Verma and Army chief General V K Singh, a French Embassy release said here.

    Admiral Guillaud will also hold high-level discussions with National Security Advisor Shivshankar Menon along with other senior officials.

    He is also scheduled to go to Mumbai and meet Western Naval Commander Vice Admiral Sanjeev Bhasin there, it added.

    Admiral Guillaud will also visit the Mazagon Dockyards Limited, where India is building its six conventional submarines with French shipbuilding company DCNS.

    The visit of the French defence chief comes at a time when the two countries are going to sign a deal expected to be worth over USD two billion for upgrading the 50 Mirage-2000 aircraft of the Indian Air Force.

    France, which won the over Rs 18,000-crore deal for building six Scorpene submarines in 2005, is also one of the contenders for the Rs 30,000-crore contract for building another six submarines.

    French aircraft manufacturer Dassault is also in the race for the deal for supplying 126 multi-role combat aircraft to the IAF and has offered its Rafale fighters.
     
  14. Patriot

    Patriot Senior Member Senior Member

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    France wants India to join it in global military operations

    Ahead of French President Nicolas Sarkozy’s visit to India in December, France has made a pitch for the two nations to cooperate in operations where their armed forces are deployed, including in the anti-piracy efforts in Gulf of Aden.

    French Defence Minister Herve Morin also wants to enhance consultations between the two counties on regional issues such as terrorism and situation in Afghanistan.

    "As I had the opportunity to convey to Defence Minister A K Antony during my visit in December 2009, we can go even further in enhancing our consultations on the regional situation - I am specifically referring to Afghanistan, where France is engaged - but also on major international issues," he said.
    [​IMG]

    "We could also intensify our cooperation at the theatres of operation where both our armed forces are deployed, piracy in the Indian Ocean and the Gulf of Aden being such a case."

    "Lastly, we could develop more armament programmes that are efficient and adapted to the needs of both armed forces," Morin said to a question on how Indo-French strategic partnership could be improved in the defence sector.

    His remarks in an interview to defence journal Indian Defence Review coincides with the four-day visit of French Chief of Defence Staff Admiral Edouard Guillaud here.

    Referring to Sarkozy’s emphasis on several occasions that Indo-French partnership contributed to stability and peace not only in the region but globally, Morin said the French President’s December visit would enable progress in bilateral relations in all its facets, "be it facing common threats, or intensifying operational cooperation, or bringing the projects for equipping the Indian armed forces, launched together, to their fruition."

    He said the cooperation between the two nations "concerns the very heart of our security: counter-terrorism."

    "This is even more indispensable as we often face similar kinds of threats in Afghanistan, in Europe and in India, as borne out by the attacks in Mumbai in November 2008. Further, we have a very promising operational cooperation, be it regarding anti-piracy, joint exercises or officer exchanges," the French Defence Minister added.

    He also pitched for France’s Rafale fighter aircraft which is a competitor in the $11 billion Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft (MMRCA) ''mother of all deals'' tenders, saying it was "an exceptional aircraft" which met the needs of the Indian Air Force (IAF).





    http://www.brahmand.com/news/France-wants-India-to-join-it-in-global-military-operations/5195/1/10.html
     
  15. youngindian

    youngindian Senior Member Senior Member

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    Return of Sarkozy shows France's importance to India

    2010-12-02

    When the French president visited India in January 2008, he was unmarried. The stern Indian protocol babus did not allow him to bring Carla Bruni, his future wife - how would they seat her at official receptions, they asked. While admiring the Taj Mahal in Agra, Sarkozy wrote in the guestbook that he would return with Mrs Sarkozy-Bruni. On Dec 5, his promise will be fulfilled.

    But that is not all about the relations between France and India which have enjoyed a trusted and dependable strategic partnership since 1998.

    'Friendship' preceded 'partnership'. General de Gaulle had sided with India when in October 1962 China came down the slopes of NEFA (North East Frontier Agency, later renamed Arunachal Pradesh).

    Later, during the Bangladesh War, France continued to be India's friend: Andre Malraux, General de Gaulle's senior minister, alerted the public to the extent of the massacres in East Pakistan; he declared that he was ready to fight on Bangladesh's side. Then, in the 1980s, under President Francois Mitterrand, a technology transfer for the Mirages 2000 was signed.

    President Sarkozy's forthcoming four-day stay in India starting from Dec 4 can only reinforce this bilateral partnership, particularly in the field of civil nuclear cooperation, space and defence.

    In September 2008, France was the first country to sign a civilian nuclear deal with India. When asked about progress on the implementation of this historic deal, Ranjan Mathai, India's Ambassador to France, confirmed that negotiations were proceeding smoothly between Areva and its Indian counterpart, the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL): 'There are issues related to the cost or the technical aspects of the project, safety, etc. to be sorted out. [But] if one looks at the entire picture, we have made substantial progress.

    'Hopefully in a few weeks, we will reach some conclusions. Then, a techno-commercial contract has to be finalized, but this will take a little more time.'

    Not only has the 9,900-MW Jaitapur Nuclear Plant received environmental clearance from the ministry of environment and forests but the Nuclear Liabilities Bill was also passed by the Indian parliament. French diplomats believe it is an important step forward in clarifying the issues.

    For both sides, the liability issue is a complicated question and the responsibilities between the 'supplier' (Areva) and the 'operator' (NPCIL) need to be clearly delineated. It is a long and necessary process.

    Though defence has always been a key component of the partnership, France and India see eye to eye on a wide range of issues.

    Today, the main ongoing joint project is the manufacture, under French licence, of six Scorpene submarines at Mazagon docks near Mumbai.

    In October, Herve Morin, the French defence minister till a few weeks ago, told us in an interview for the Indian Defence Review: 'Among other projects that have matured, one can cite the modernisation of the Indian Air Force Mirage 2000 fleet; two joint development projects - the Maitri project for a surface-to-air defence missile system, and the Kaveri fighter aircraft engine; the supply of reconnaissance and observation helicopters or, in the slightly longer term, the second phase of six submarines.'

    Regarding the sale of armaments to Pakistan, Morin remained vague: 'Pakistan is an essential partner for fighting terrorism.' But there is more behind the scenes, (according to Wikileaks, during a meeting with Robert Gates, the US secretary of defence in February, Morin 'expressed doubt about the willingness of the Pakistani government to fight extremists at home').

    This awareness translated into a strong stand when Islamabad tried to gain access to French knowhow for its Chinese-built JF-17 jet fighters. Probably pressurised by New Delhi, Paris decided to deny advanced radars and other electronic gadgets for Pakistani fighter planes. Paris thought it would not only immediately fall into Chinese hands (which are skilled in reverse technology) but it would also jeopardize important deals with India.

    Concrete 'operational' cooperation is taking place in several fields; one is sharing of intelligence inputs. The visit to India of Jean-David Levitte, the 'sherpa' of President Sarkozy during the second week of October, was not only to prepare President Sarkozy's visit but also to inform the government of India of the serious terrorist threats faced by France.

    Economy is also an important aspect of the bilateral relationship. Mathai called it the 'second pillar of our relationship'. The creation in 2009 of a CEOs' Forum promised to further enhance the economic exchanges. In 2008, the French president and the Indian prime minister had placed the bar very high: a jump from six billion euros to 12 billion euros in bilateral trade by the end of 2012 was a very ambitious target. It might be reached.

    While some observers say France is an old nation which should offer its Security Council seat to India, many believe a strong relationship with France would help balance a historically less reliable India-US collaboration. The success of the visit will ultimately depend on how far Sarkozy takes India seriously.

    French author and expert on the history of Tibet, China and the Indian subcontinent, Claude Arpi can be contacted at [email protected]


    http://sify.com/news/return-of-sark...-india-comment-news-national-kmckucagjeg.html
     
  16. Patriot

    Patriot Senior Member Senior Member

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    India, France to sign several deals during Sarkozy visit

    [​IMG]
    Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh in a meeting with the President of France Mr Nicholas Sarkozy on the sidelines of the Nuclear Security
    Summit in Washington on April 13 2010. A file photo.


    NEW DELHI (PTI): India and France will ink a couple of pacts during the visit of French President Nicolas Sarkozy who arrives in the country on Saturday seeking to strengthen bilateral ties in key areas of space and civil nuclear cooperation.

    Sarkozy will be accompanied by his singer-model wife Carla Bruni and a high-level delegation, including several key ministers of his cabinet, senior officials, business-persons and the media.

    During his stay, the French President will hold talks with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and visit the Taj Mahal with his wife among other engagements.

    "I believe there is a framework agreement, one or more in fact. Frameworks agreement between Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited and Areva (French company) are under negotiations and if they manage to wrap it up over the next couple of days, we will have those signed.

    "These are general framework and framework agreement on early work. These are possibly concluded and may be signed.....It is for supply of two European pressure reactors, initially, which will gradually increase to six in numbers," T P Seetharam, Joint Secretary (Europe West) in the Ministry of External Affairs said.

    The early contract is essential to start implementation of the 10,000-MW nuclear project at Jaitapur in Maharashtra.

    NPCIL will subsequently enter into other technical contracts and start construction by March 2011.

    While the pact between NPCIL and Areva will be commercial in nature, it will be followed by inter-government agreements pertaining to confidentiality and Intellectual Property Rights (IPR).

    Besides this, a pact in space cooperation is also expected to be signed which will help collaboration between the two countries in the field of earth sciences and climate programme and will also entail launching of satellites.

    Seetharam ruled out signing of any major defence deal during the Presidential visit but said it will provide a momentum in the negotiations of deals, including upgradation of nearly 50 French Mirage 2000 fighter aircraft currently being used by Indian Air Force.

    Sarkozy will begin his trip from Bangalore where he goes to Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and interacts with top scientists from across the country.

    Next day, he will proceed on a private trip to Agra where the first couple will visit the monument of love--the Taj Mahal. On December 6, Sarkozy will call on President Pratibha Patil and hold talks with Singh in New Delhi.

    He will travel to Mumbai on December 7 where he visits the Police Memorial of 26/11, attend a community function for giving awards to Taj/Oberoi management for their support to French nationals during the terror attacks and participate in a business conference.






    http://www.brahmand.com/news/India-France-to-sign-several-deals-during-Sarkozy-visit/5665/1/10.html
     
  17. Tshering22

    Tshering22 Sikkimese Saber Senior Member

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    ^ I do hope that something is done about Rafale joining IAF. France has a great track record and reputation with IAF and I would actually be pleased to see Rafale in our colours. Besides, it is high time MOD declare the winner. It shouldn't be an American fighter for all I care.
     
  18. Patriot

    Patriot Senior Member Senior Member

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    Sarkozy Seeking to Sell Military Aircraft, Nuclear Reactors on India Visit

    BY: bloomberg.com

    French President Nicolas Sarkozy arrives in India tomorrow seeking a slice of its multi-billion dollar military spending and pushing Areva SA’s bid to sell at least two nuclear reactors.

    Sarkozy will escort 50 chief executives, including those of aircraft-makers Dassault Aviation and EADS, on a presidential sales trip sandwiched between those of U.S. leader Barack Obama and Russia’s Dmitri Medvedev. Each has companies racing for contracts, including India’s planned purchase of $11 billion in jet fighters.

    “France is not a top player in India but it has had a steady and supporting role,” Gilles Boquerat, an analyst at the French Institute for International Relations in Paris, said in an interview. “India, for historical and obvious business reasons, has made France one of the top two countries on its list for future civil nuclear-energy deals.”

    To boost French economic and employment recovery amid Europe’s debt crisis, Sarkozy will push for sales of submarines as well as combat jets, plus transport and renewable-energy deals. Chief executives with him will include Alstom SA’s Patrick Kron and MBDA’s Antoine Bouvier, as well as Dassault’s Charles Edelstenne and EADS’s Louis Gallois.

    As current leader of the Group of 20 nations, Sarkozy also will seek support from Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for his plans to overhaul the global monetary system and regulate commodities markets.

    French-Indian Trade

    Sarkozy will land in Bangalore to visit the Indian Space Research Organisation. The next day he and his wife, Carla Bruni-Sarkozy, visit the Taj Mahal in Agra, and on Dec. 6 Sarkozy will meet Singh in New Delhi. In Mumbai on Dec. 7, the French president will attend a business conference.

    France was India’s fifth-biggest trading partner in 2009, according to India’s government spokesman, Vishnu Prakash. French-Indian trade in the first nine months of this year was worth 5.3 billion euros ($7 billion), down from 7.1 billion euros in 2008 because of the crisis, according to the French government.

    Sarkozy is struggling to keep France’s position as fifth largest arms seller to India, behind Russia, Israel, the U.K. and Germany, according to data collected by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute.

    India has increased defense spending partly in response to China’s military build-up. A report by the New Delhi office of accounting firm KPMG and the Confederation of Indian Industry in January showed the Defense Ministry budget is $32 billion for 2010. India plans to spend $112 billion over the next six years to renew or upgrade equipment.

    Selling Weapons

    French arms purchases “are something that India is very open to because there is a strong desire that we should not put all of our eggs into one basket,” said Nivedita Das Kundu, a research fellow on Indian foreign relations at the government- backed Indian Council of World Affairs in New Delhi.

    Sarkozy will seek to advance talks on an Indian Air Force tender from 2007 to buy 126 warplanes worth $11 billion, the world’s biggest fighter-jet purchase in 15 years. Paris-based Dassault Aviation SA, with its Rafale, is competing with Chicago-based Boeing Co., Lockheed Martin Corp., Stockholm-based Saab AB, European Aeronautic, Defense & Space Co., which has headquarters in Paris and Munich, and Moscow-based OAO United Aircraft Corp.

    “The Rafale has minimum chances because India is looking for jets that have already been exported,” Siemon Wezeman, a senior fellow at SIPRI, said in an interview.

    Aircraft Upgrades

    India’s top diplomat for western European affairs, Joint Secretary T.P. Seetharam, told reporters in New Delhi on Dec. 1 that while no major defense deals are likely to be signed during Sarkozy’s stay, the visit is likely to advance plans for French companies to upgrade 51 Mirage-2000 jet fighters built by Dassault for the Indian Air Force 30 years ago.

    Thales SA will push to clinch the upgrade deal that may include new avionics and radar and be worth up to $2 billion, La Tribune newspaper reported on Sept. 28.

    France and India may sign a preliminary contract that would bring Areva closer to an agreement to build two 1,650 megawatt nuclear reactors at Jaitapur and supply them with uranium, Press Trust of India agency reported on Nov. 24, citing Nuclear Power Corp. of India Ltd. representatives.

    Areva, the world’s biggest nuclear-reactor builder, signed a preliminary sales agreement in February 2009 with Nuclear Power Corp. The project passed a key hurdle on Nov. 28 when India’s Environment Ministry gave its approval.

    Areva’s chief executive officer, Anne Lauvergeon, told a French Senate commission on Nov. 24 that negotiations were in the final stage and to expect “good news.”

    The British government in July said it would permit the export of nuclear technology to India for the first time.





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  19. cobra commando

    cobra commando Tharki regiment Veteran Member Senior Member

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    Indo-French Air exercise
    'Garuda-5' to begin from June 3


    Jodhpur: India and France would start a ten-day joint Air exercise 'Garuda-5', aimed at training the pilots and crew of Indian and French fighters in air superiority operations in Rajasthan's Jodhpur airbase from June 3, IAF sources said. Both the Indian Air Force and French Air Force would be engaged in various missions ranging from close combat engagement of large forces, slow mover protection, and protecting and engaging high-value aerial assets in the exercise at the strategic airbase near Indo-Pak border, they said. The flying consisting of air to air refuelling, basic and advanced fighter interceptions, protection of high-value aerial targets and group combat manoeuvring would be the main focus of the exercise, IAF sources said. Objective of the exercise is to expose IAF Pilots to French Fighter Tactics and French Pilots to Indian Fighter Tactics, to?expose IAF Aircrew to Air to Air Refuelling, Cross-servicing of a common type between ground crews and Understanding basic concepts of each countries fighter operations. Four Rafale multi-role fighter aircraft and one air Refueler aircraft with more than 100 personnel would form the France delegation. "The focus of the Air Exercise from June 3 to June 13 is learning from each other's best practices," Defence spokesperson Col SD Goswami told PTI today.

    Indo-French Air exercise `Garuda-5` to begin from June 3
     
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    cobra commando Tharki regiment Veteran Member Senior Member

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    New Delhi: The multi-billion dollar Rafale combat aircraft deal, the Jaitapur nuclear power plant and climate change are expected to figure prominently during talks French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius' will have with Indian leaders during his two-day visit here starting on Monday. The two sides are also likely to discuss the over Rs. 20,000 crore Maitri surface-to-air missile system project alongside holding parleys on the regional and global security situation including Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria. The Rafale deal, estimated to be over Rs. 60,000 crore, is also expected to come up during the talks along with the SR-SAM project, which is in the final stages of negotiations between the two governments, sources said here. India had selected the French Rafale combat aircraft two years ago but the negotiations are still continuing between Indian Defence Ministry and the French firm Dassault Aviation as there have been issues over pricing and work-sharing between the two sides. During the interaction between External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Fabius, the two sides are expected to take up Jaitapur nuclear power project where the two countries are planning installation of six nuclear power plants in a phased manner, the sources said. The French side was waiting for the new government to assume office in Delhi to restart negotiations as it wanted to know the approach of the new dispensation under Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the issue of using nuclear energy, they said. Asked if the French side was comfortable with the nuclear liability laws of India, the sources said the French government wanted to understand and discuss with India about the way the liability laws would be implemented and its possible consequences.
    Rafale Deal Likely to Figure During French Foreign Minister's India Visit - NDTV
     
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    cobra commando Tharki regiment Veteran Member Senior Member

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