Sarkozy signs $20bn in deals on Indian trade trip

FRANCE’S President Nicolas Sarkozy yesterday said he had clinched deals worth about $20bn (£12.6bn) with India, becoming the latest among a string of world leaders jostling for a share of Asia’s third biggest economy.

The business deals, which spanned atomic energy, defence and civil aviation, comfortably bettered the $10bn US President Barack Obama secured on his November visit. They come a day before Sarkozy is due to end his four-day visit.

Chinese premier Wen Jiabao and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev are also due to visit India this month, a sign of how major powers are vying for the world’s biggest new defence and power markets, long closed to outside investors.

India is trying to boost its power generation capability and defence, wary it is falling behind China.

India is forecast to see economic growth of almost nine per cent this year.