India and France announced the signing 13 agreements on Monday, including food safety, smart governance, railways, nuclear energy, maritime cooperation and space technology. The two countries also signed a Memorandum of Understanding on the purchase of 36 Rafale fighter jets. In a joint statement with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, French President Francois Hollande said these fighter jets are precisely the same type as those that are bombarding Islamic State targets in Syria.
Modi confirmed that an agreement on the purchase of the French fighter jets had been reached, with only the financial aspects still remaining unresolved. Calling Hollande "a close friend of India", Modi said that the two countries have have had a strategic partnership for 18 years. He added that this will be the first time in history that French troops will be part of India's Republic Day parade on January 26.
Hollande, who will be the chief guest at the Republic Day parade in Delhi on Tuesday, earlier said that France is committed to the common cause of fighting terrorism. He added that the purpose of his visit was to reinforce and strengthen cooperation between the two countries, PTI reported. He also praised Modi for his important role in the Paris climate change conference, held in December last year.
French Finance Minister Michel Sapin on Monday said that firms from his country will invest up to $10 billion (around Rs 67,000 crore) in India. In a speech at the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry, Sapin said France had invested $1 billion annually in the country over the last five years.