French PM visits Australia

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull says there is “a lot to celebrate” as he and French Prime Minister Manuel Valls meet to discuss Australia’s new submarine deal.

Mr Valls made a surprise visit to Canberra this morning to discuss the deal with Mr Turnbull after Australia awarded a $50 billion contract to French company DCNS to design and build Australia’s next fleet of submarines in Adelaide.

Mr Turnbull said the relationship between the two countries would strengthen as they prepared for 50 years of collaboration that would transform their strategic partnership.

“The proposed future submarine partnership will be another opportunity for France and Australia, creating unprecedented opportunities to strengthen and expand, and deepen our already strong relationship,” Mr Turnbull said.

The collaboration will see 12 submarines built in South Australia, by Australian workers, using Australian steel.

Mr Turnbull said the partnership would see Australia and France draw upon technology and innovation to deliver submarines that were at the cutting edge of technology.

“The work of these submarines will provide substantial benefits for our technology sector, for our high-tech businesses and for all our industries and applications that come from the innovation and ingenuity that the cutting edge defence sector demands,” he said.

“The success of the project will draw upon the expertise, technology and resources of our two great countries.”

Mr Valls said the decision to choose France for the contract was a tribute to the country’s technology, abilities, and companies, especially DCNS.

“We will deliver on all of our commitments, with job creation in Australia, with technology and know-how transfers,” Mr Valls said.

“And we will meet our commitments, be it on the timeline, on the financial commitment, and the performance of the future submarines.”

Mr Turnbull said the partnership was expected to create thousands of jobs in both Australia and France.

The physical build will be completed in South Australia, but a range of contractorss and suppliers will be engaged across the country.