France’s Sarkozy calls on India to back G20 agenda

* France’s Sarkozy urges India to back G20 monetary agenda

* Hints bilateral nuclear deal could be signed during trip

By Yann Le Guernigou

BANGALORE, India, Dec 4 (BestGrowthStock) – President Nicolas
Sarkozy urged India on Saturday to support France’s agenda of
reforming the global monetary system during its presidency of
the G20 and hinted a nuclear deal could be signed on his trip.

The French president started his four-day visit in the
southern technology hub of Bangalore. He leads a delegation of
50 senior businessmen as well as top cabinet officials,
including Economy Minister Christine Lagarde.

He wants to push an ambitious agenda for the G20 group of
developed and emerging nations, including reform of the
international monetary system, improvements in global
governance and greater stability in international commodity
prices.

“Please help us throughout this year to change this state
of things (in the monetary system). We need you to regulate
the international monetary order,” he said, adding that the
Indian rupee “will one day count as a major global currency”.

Sarkozy also asked for the “support of Indian farmers to
make the world understand that the price of agricultural or
other raw materials cannot be regulated exclusively by
speculation and change in an erratic way”.

Sarkozy will meet Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on
Monday and has hinted at the progress of a multi-billion euro
deal for the sale of two nuclear reactors to India.

SUPPORT FOR U.N. SEAT

French nuclear group Areva (CEPFi.PA: ) has signed a
memorandum of understanding with the Nuclear Power Corp of
India (NPCIL) to supply at least two EPR water pressurised
reactors, estimated at some 7 billion euros ($9.4 billion).

India has given the green light for construction and
suggested a framework contract could be concluded during the
visit.

In an interview published on Saturday by the Times of
India, Sarkozy said discussions on the agreement “were
continuing and everything was being done” for a deal to be
reached during his time in India.

“Areva is becoming a key partner for Indian nuclear
energy,” he said later in a speech given at the Indian space
agency, the ISRO.

Sarkozy’s trip to India, an emerging market star whose
fast-developing power sector is of interes to foreign
investors, comes soon after visits by U.S. President Barack
Obama and British Prime Minister David Cameron.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and his Chinese
counterpart Hu Jintao are due in India before the end of the
year.

Sarkozy repeated France’s support for India’s longstanding
demand to win a permanent seat on the U.N. Security Council,
as Obama did in November, in acknowledgement of India’s
growing global clout.

French firms are also hoping to secure lucrative defence
deals with India, including the sale of 126 fighter jets and a
smaller contract for defence electronics group Thales
to modernise 51 Mirage 2000 planes for India’s air
force. (Writing by Matthias Williams; editing by Ron Popeski)

France’s Sarkozy calls on India to back G20 agenda