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Sunday, December 5, 2010

Agosta-famed Sarkozy seeks business, this time with corruption-ridden India….

World leader seem to have queued up to do business with India. After President Obama, the Agosta-famed French President Nicolas Sarkozy has also arrived in India which is rocked by powerful corruption scandals in G2 license cases. He landed saying that nuclear energy will now be the focus of Indo-French cooperation as the south Asian country aims to increase its power generation capacity to sustain brisk economic growth. 

"We all know how critical it is for India to ensure its energy security," Mr. Sarkozy said in a speech at the Indian Space Research Organization. "India and France share the belief that nuclear energy can provide an unparalleled response to this challenge," he added. India aims to increase its nuclear power capacity to 63,000 megawatts by 2032 from 4,560 MW now, less than 3% of its total energy needs. 

"This is more than a change of scale. It's a change of attitude and I'm proud that France is supporting India in this historic process," Mr. Sarkozy said. 

Last February, France's Areva SA signed a deal that could top US$12.3 billion with India's Nuclear Power Corp. to supply between two and six 1,650 MW reactors to generate nuclear power. French President Nicolas Sarkozy arrived Saturday on a four-day visit to India, seeking to drum up business for French firms, with a deal expected on building nuclear plants to feed the Asian giant's burgeoning energy needs.

India Real-time Blog on the Wall Street Journal says that despite some striking similarities, Mr. Sarkozy’s itinerary shows that his priorities are somewhat different from those of President Obama.His India agenda is also shaped by his new role as chairman of the Group of 20 major economies—this is his first visit to a foreign country in this role. Mr. Sarkozy will be focusing on the very big picture, like international governance and the future of the global economy.

Mr. Sarkozy and his wife will kick off their trip in Bangalore, India’s information technology capital. He will visit the Indian Space Research Organization, where Indo-French satellite projects are currently underway. Bangalore didn’t make it in Mr. Obama’s itinerary. That saved him from having to discuss at length the uncomfortable topic of outsourcing U.S. jobs to India, a thorny topic in the U.S. In France, outsourcing is not a politically sensitive issue. So Mr. Sarkozy will be free to praise India’s IT industry. On Saturday night the Sarkozys will leave for Agra, to wake the next morning in the shadow of the Taj Mahal.

Mr. Sarkozy is also likely to seek India’s endorsement  of France’s key G20 policy goals: reforming the international monetary system, addressing the volatility in commodity prices and restructuring global governance. As a quid pro quo, he may back India’s permanent membership to the United Nations Security Council, and for sure he will criticize Pakistan only to be taken seriously by his hosts. He has already lost face at home and abroad due to corruption charges.  Same is the case with Dr Manmohan Singh and his Congress government.Let us see how does he fare in India.

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