The #Rafale fighter deal is stalled not only due to the high costs involved, but also due to disagreement on how the local component of fighters to be produced in India. Dassault has taken the position that it cannot guarantee the quality of the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) built 108 Rafale fighters after the first 18 are imported. But many experts here say that this is a whim of Dassault and a lack of trust in the Made in India dear to Mr Modi. Dassault may want another local partner, like the private-sector giant Reliance Industries Limited (RIL), to complete the deal. RIL, with its $10 billion cash hoard, has already set up a defence sector business unit, Reliance Aerospace Technologies Pvt Ltd (RATPL), The initial estimation of $12 billion has also escalated to over $22 billion, which is twice as much as the cost of the Russian Sukhoi Su-30MKI fighter.
#Areva is in the fray for six new nuclear power plants in collaboration with Nuclear Power Corporation of India (NPCIL). But Areva has sought a tariff of `9.18 per unit, which India finds too expensive. Again the Russians or even the Americans have better offers.
In 2005, the Indian Navy ordered six Scorpene submarines, all to be built at the ministry of defence- owned Mazagon dock and elsewhere, with the last two to be fitted with an Indian air-independent propulsion (AIP) module. The first India-made Scorpene has just been been launched, 12 years behind schedule. Again costs have gone up by 50% and the Indian Government finds that the French are nor reliable in their deals
#Airbuses. Mr Modi will visit Toulouse the headquarters of Airbus. But Air India has been buying more Boeings latetly than Airbuses, so The French will try to woo Mr Modi. At last, India is the new China!
I am a French man and proud to be French, but nevertheless France’s record with India is abysmal & their attitude is often neo colonial
Nothing symbolises more than the car makers of France who have ventured into India. The fist one #Peugeot was a complete flop : Peugeot partnered with Mahindra to produce the 309 an obsolete car (even then) that had done well in Africa. The second one Renault, use its sub brand Dacia (a third class Romanian car manufacturer that #Renault bought) to market in India the Logan and Duster cars under the brand Renault, half a lie, as in France they are sold as Dacia and considered cars for the lower middle class. Any fool living India for more than a year could have told Renault that Indians like big cars, latest models, even if they cost money and Renault could easily have marketed in India some of its recent vehicles such ss the Megane or the Espace 5, which would do very well in India. The Japanese and Koreans have understood it long ago at India is a luxury market: look at the incredible success story of the Innova, and how today every fourth car in Delhi is an Audi or a Mercedes.. Instead the Logan and Duster are slowly fading way from Indian road. Is the economical section of the French embassy doing properly its job?
Let us talk about France’s airline #AirFrance was the last to fly from Chennai and the first to exit, when all the other companies have been flying from there profitably for two decades. It shows its arrogance and the fact that it does not care about the Indian market as its prices are more expensive than the other airlines, whereas its business class is one of the worst, without any real flat beds.
On the overall economic front, France is still not much of a reliable partner ,with bilateral trade of about eight billion euros. This is less than India’s trade with all of France’s neighbours such as Germany, Belgium, the United Kingdom, Netherlands and Italy. From 2000 onwards the total FDI in India was close to $900 billion. France’s contribution was below $15 billion or about 2%.
It is also sad that the French Foreign Minister and the French embassy in Delhi still dance to the tunes of the French Indologists of the CNRS, who are all close to the JNU or such outdated historians like close Romila Thapar’s. As a result, whenever they appear in French televisions or write in French newspapers, as they will invariably do before Mr Modi’s visit, they speak about poverty, slums, caste problems, Hindu ‘fundamentalism’ and India being a ‘soft’ power, never able to compete with China. This in turn influences wrongly the French diplomats and business men, who all read newspapers such a Left leaning Le Monde, or watch Government owned France 2, not a great friend of India (it recently did a very negative piece on Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, without the French correspondent of France 2 based in Delhi, bothering to pay a visit to the Bangalore ashram of Sri Sri)
We thus hope that Mr Modi, while being his friendly self, will be tough and frank in negotiations with the French and will impress them that India is not only samosas, Bharat Natyam, and snake charmers, as the French tend to believe. Then only will France begin taking India seriously as an economic and geopolitical partner