France Signs Deals Worth $16 Billion In India; To Deepen Defense, Security Ties

French President Emmanuel Macron and India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi attend a signing of agreements ceremony at Hyderabad House in New Delhi, India, March 10, 2018.

PARIS/NEW DELHI (Reuters) - French and Indian companies signed contracts worth 13 billion euros ($16 billion) on the first day of President Emmanuel Macron’s visit to India on Saturday, the French presidency said in a statement.

The deals include a contract for France’s Safran (SAF.PA) to supply airline Spice Jet (SPJT.BO) with engines, water system modernization by Suez (SEVI.PA) in the southern city of Davangere and a contract between industrial gas company Air Liquide (AIRP.PA) and Sterlite.

Macron and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi – addressing a news conference in New Delhi – also committed to strengthening their partnership on defense and security.

“Whether it’s the environment, naval security and resources, or freedom of navigation and overflight, we are committed to making our partnership stronger on all these fronts,” Modi said. “We consider France one of our most reliable defense allies.”

He also hailed France’s commitment to making defense and security equipment in India and contributing to Modi’s flagship “Make in India” plan to boost local manufacturing.

Macron said the countries had decided to do more together to fight terrorism and put together a strategy to share intelligence.

“Our navies will be able to call our respective military bases ... we will also have our space agencies conducting some joint monitoring of the maritime area,” Macron said.

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