NEW DELHI(ANI/WEB TEAM): Prime Minister Narendra Modi will leave for an eight-day, three nation visit to France, Germany and Canada later today, with the objective of holding bilateral talks as well as people to people contacts with all three key global economic powerhouses.
"Prime Minister Modi will be travelling to France, Germany and Canada. A common theme of these destinations is that all of them are G7 countries: they are industrialised democracies. We have a considerable economic interest in partnering with these countries which is very relevant to our industrial programmes. We have a large political convergence with them," Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar told the media.
Jaishankar further elaborated on the Prime Minister's schedule in France and Germany.
"Prime Minister Modi will arrive on April 9 in Paris and his day begins on April 10 with a ceremonial welcome in the morning. He has two back-to-back round tables: one with French CEOs discussing infrastructure as a theme, and the second will deal with defence technology as a theme," he said.
"Infrastructure is a high priority for the government and we believe that a lot of French companies have expertise in the sector. In defence, our relationship with France has had defence, space and nuclear as three important components. French companies are very experienced and we hope that they participate in the Make in India initiative in the defence sector," he added.
Jaishankar further said that Prime Minister Modi will meet the French President after speaking before the UNESCO.
"The Prime Minister will be speaking at UNESCO, and then will attend a lunch hosted by the National Assembly president. Later, he will meet French President Hollande and will hold a tete-a-tete before holding bilateral talks. The two leaders will receive a report of Indo-French CEOs forum. Then they will take a boat ride on the Seine, before President Hollande hosts a banquet for the Prime Minister," he said.
"On April 11, the Prime Minister will travel to Toulouse, where he will tour the Airbus facility, before visiting French space company CNES before meeting the head of the local government. After that, he shall travel to Lille, where he will visit a World War I memorial, to bring out the role of Indian soldiers in the war. Later, he returns to Paris for a community reception before meeting former France president Sarkozy," he added.
Moving to the Prime Minister's schedule in Germany, Jaishankar noted that India is the partner country for the 2015 edition of the Hannover Messe business fair.
"On April 12, Prime Minister leaves for Hannover. Soon after his arrival, he will meet German business leaders. India is the partner country for the 2015 edition of the Hannover Messe business fair, with almost 400 Indian companies displaying their products. He will then unveil a bust of Mahatma Gandhi in Hannover. In the evening, German Chancellor Angela Merkel will host a working dinner for the Prime Minister," he said.
"On April 13, the two leaders will jointly open the India pavilion at the Hannover Messe, before addressing an India-Germany Business Summit. Later, he will leave for Berlin, where he will visit the Siemens Technical Academy, before meeting German Vice Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel," he added.
"On April 14, he will be called upon by Germany Federal Minister for Foreign Affairs Frank-Walter Steinmeier, before receiving a ceremonial welcome by Chancellor Merkel at the Federal Chancellery. This will be followed by a working lunch which she will host for him. Later, he will visit a model railway station in Germany, before leaving for Ottawa," he further said.
Meanwhile, MEA Special Secretary (Americas and CPV) R. Swaminathan said that this is the first stand-alone visit to Canada by an Indian Prime Minister in over 40 years.
"Prime Minister Modi is visiting Canada at the invitation of Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper. This is the first stand-alone Prime Ministerial visit to Canada in 42 years. Bilaterally, the intensity has been very high since July 2004. We consider Canada an important partner for our own developmental objectives through investment, trade and technology. Canada is the eleventh largest economy and their top five pension funds alone control nearly USD 700 billion. Canada is also an energy superpower and has a vibrant Indian community of 1.2 million," he said.
Swaminathan further elaborated about Prime Minister Modi's visit of Canada.
"Prime Minister Modi will reach Ottawa on April 14. On April 15 morning, he will have a ceremonial welcome, before calling on Canada Governor General David Johnston. He will then meet Prime Minister Harper for a working lunch. He will then travel to Toronto for a reception by Prime Minister Harper, before attending a diaspora event," he said.
"On April 16, there will be a pension fund meeting, followed by a visit to the Air India Memorial in Toronto. Thereafter, he will travel to Vancouver, where he will visit the Laxminarayan temple and a gurudwara, where he will interact with the Indian community. Later in the evening, he will attend a state dinner hosted by Prime Minister Harper, before leaving for India," he added.
"The overall objective is to alleviate, diversify and deepen our engagement across a whole range of fields and impart new vigour through concrete steps," he further said.