The Economist Times Mar 08, 2018, 11.38 PM IST By Kanwal Sibal
President Emmanuel Macron’s visit to India is important in multiple contexts. He is a strong-willed and assertive leader, with an ambitious reform agenda for France as well as for the European Union. Today, with Brexit and the weakening of the once towering leadership of Angela Merkel, Macron has positioned himself as the most credible interlocutor in Europe. This makes his visit that much more important.
In the international context, India and France can benefit from a shared understanding of the challenges that the world is facing today with the global uncertainties produced by Trump’s disruptive foreign policy and the lurch towards dictatorship in China that can only make the handling of its geopolitical ambitions more difficult. India and France are working together to implement the Paris Agreement on Climate Change which Trump has repudiated.
On green energy, the International Solar Alliance will be set in motion jointly by PM Narendra Modi and Macron on March 11. At Davos, Macron, with Trump’s policies in mind, issued a “call to all and everyone of us” to push back against protectionist and nationalist forces. Macron values the WTO. We have common ground with him both on protectionism and WTO’s importance, which we should consolidate during his visit.