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India's Modi to visit France, Germany and Canada

[NEW DELHI] Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi will visit France, Germany and Canada next month, the foreign ministry said on Wednesday, on a tour expected to focus on attracting investment to the country.

Mr Modi won a landslide election victory last May on a pledge to revive India's economic fortunes, and has embarked on an ambitious drive to attract more foreign investment to the country of 1.2 billion people.

He will meet President Francois Hollande during a three-day visit to France that begins on April 9, with a deal for India to buy 126 Rafale fighter jets likely to be high on the agenda.

France is hoping to save the deal, which has been snagged for three years and now faces new questions over cost.

In Germany, Mr Modi will attend the Hannover Messe, the world's biggest trade fair, and hold talks with Chancellor Angela Merkel, foreign ministry spokesman Syed Akbaruddin told reporters.

He will leave for Canada on April 14 and spend three days there, said Mr Akbaruddin, who also indicated that the Indian leader would continue his tradition of addressing members of the diaspora.

"The PM loses no opportunity to engage with a large number of Indians," Mr Akbaruddin said, adding that a detailed itinerary for his visit was still being finalised.

Mr Modi has addressed large public gatherings of overseas Indians during visits to the United States and Australia.


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