(Prime Minister Narendra Modi with French CEOs at the round table meeting on infrastructure in Paris on April 10, 2015)

The ‘single fare, double journey'—as Modi, using a Gujarati proverb, calls his approach to foreign tours—visit is intended to boost trade ties that could strengthen the Prime Minister’s ambitious Make-in-India programme. Earlier, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh visited Canada in 2010 to attend a G20 Summit where he spoke as well.

Germany is India’s second-largest trading partner among European nations, after Switzerland, and fifth largest overall, as IndiaSpend reported earlier.

Trade with Canada grew 61% over five years to 2013-14, but trade with Germany rose 30% and with France 10%, low compared to growth with India’s leading trade partners: China (55%) and USA (69%).

India’s trade for 2013-14 with Germany, France and Canada is also low, compared with China and the USA. Trade share with China and USA is 8.6% and 8% respectively; with Germany, France and Canada that share stands at 2.6%, 1.1% and 0.6% respectively.

China is India’s largest trading partner, with trade worth $65.8 billion in 2013-14.

Trade With Countries On Modi’s Tour List

Source: Ministry of Commerce; Figures in $ billion; *2014-15 figures are from April 2014 to January 2015.

Imports from Germany and Canada grew 25% and 50%, respectively, from 2009-10 to 2013-14. However, imports from France declined 11% over this period.

Imports From Tour-List Countries

Source: Ministry of Commerce; Figures in $ billion; *2014-15 figures are from April 2014 to January 2015.

India’s major imports from Germany include nuclear reactors and machinery worth $ 3.7 billion in 2013-14.

Aircraft and spacecraft components are major imports from France, valued at $0.8 billion in 2013-14, down from $ 1.3 billion in 2012-13.

Vegetables and mineral fuels are India’s major imports from Canada, amounting to $0.75 billion and $0.4 billion, respectively, in 2013-14.

Exports appear to be doing well compared to India’s imports with these nations. Over five years, exports are up 34%, 39% and 81%, respectively, with France, Germany and Canada.

Exports to Tour-List Countries

Source: Ministry of Commerce; Figures in $ billion; *2014-15 figures are from April 2014 to January 2015.

Apparel and clothing accessories are India’s major exports to Germany, valued at $0.62 billion in 2013-14.

Mineral fuels and oils are the leading exports to France, earning $1.1 billion in 2013-14. Iron and steel articles are India’s major exports to Canada worth $0.1 billion.

Since Germany, France and Canada are part of the G-7 group of advanced nations, India could find common economic interests with them, according to India’s Foreign Secretary S. Jaishankar.

Modi’s key agenda in France will be to resolve a deal to buy 126 Rafael fighter aircraft—you can read IndiaSpend’s report here—and the stalled, controversial Jaitapur nuclear power project.

Nuclear reactors and components were the second-largest imported items from France, valued at $ 2.9 billion, after aircraft (US $ 5.5 billion), between 2009-10 and 2013-14.

Promoting his Make-in-India project, Modi will visit the headquarters of Airbus in Toulouse, where he could finalise a Rs-5,133 crore ($800 million) deal to buy two A-330 Airbus aircraft for the Indian Air Force.

In Germany, the Prime Minister, alongwith German Chancellor Angela Merkel, will inaugurate ‘Hannover Messe’, the largest congregation of business tycoons. He will also attend a round-table with German CEOs and business leaders. India is the partner country of the fair this year; more than 350 Indian enterprises will participate.

Canada, Modi’s final destination, is where he will seek investments while reaching out to the large Indian diaspora.

A civil nuclear deal is also likely to be signed with Canada to supply uranium fuel for Indian nuclear power plants.

Update: The headline has been changed to reflect former prime minister Manmohan Singh's visit to Canada in 2010 as part of G20 summit.

Image Credit: PIB


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