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11 March 2018, 01:08 | Tracey Rhodes
It said Modi and Macron noted with satisfaction the "on-schedule" progress in the implementation of acquisition-related agreements, including the Rafale aircraft deal and the construction of six Scorpene submarines in India, in collaboration with French shipbuilder Naval Group.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi welcomed investments from France while he and President macron interacted with CEOs of the two countries at the Hyderabad House to take their strategic partnership forward. During the delegation-level talks, both leaders were expected to review the progress so far in India-France bilateral relations and exchange their views on regional and worldwide issues of mutual interest for both nations. "I am happy that I have got an opportunity to welcome you in India", Modi said.
India and France will also develop a wider dialogue on space situational awareness.
Speaking to media after being accorded a ceremonial reception at the Rashtrapati Bhavan, Macron said he has three purposes for this visit.
He pointed that the meeting of India and France is between two civilizations. Prime Minister Modi had last visited France in June previous year.
Modi said that both sides have agreed to strengthen cooperation in ensuring freedom of navigation, overflight as Indian Ocean will play a key role in ensuring regional peace and stability.
French President Macron and Prime Minister Modi will also visit Varanasi, where a group of local youths and some French nationals have formed a club to work towards improving man-to-man contact between the people of the two countries.
Sources in the French presidency told news agency AFP they were optimistic of a final agreement being signed before the end of the year.
The last visit of Macron to India was in January 2016, when he was the chief guest at the Republic Day celebrations.
On Sunday, Modi and Macron will co-chair the founding conference of the India-initiated International Solar Alliance (ISA), which was launched by Modi and then French President Francois Hollande during the Paris Climate Summit in 2015.
The visit aims at strengthening bilateral economic, political and strategic dimensions of engagement between the nations.
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