Australia

French president kicks off Australia tour

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull will be having talks with visiting French President Emmanuel Macron. (AAP)

French President Emmanuel Macron is expected to pay his respects to fallen Australian soldiers in Sydney ahead of trade and security talks.

Trade and security talks will be on the agenda as French President Emmanuel Macron kicks off his three-day tour of Australia.

Mr Macron arrived at Sydney Airport on Tuesday evening before meeting Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and his wife Lucy at the Opera House for dinner.

The president on Wednesday morning is expected to pay respects to fallen Australian soldiers in Sydney before meeting the governor-general later in the day to discuss research collaborations between the Australian National University and the French space agency CNES.

The president and prime minister are expected to address the media in the afternoon.

Mr Macron and Mr Turnbull are expected to focus on trade and defence and strategic issues, including French firm Naval Group's contract to build Australia's new fleet of 12 submarines in Adelaide.

China's growing influence in the South Pacific will also be discussed.

South Australia's Premier Steven Marshall will join the talks and plans to speak to Mr Macron about the potential to grow French investment in the state.

In his speech at the Sydney Opera House on Tuesday night, Mr Macron said climate change would also feature in the talks.

Australia's commitment to climate change action and French resistance to a European Union-Australian free trade deal are likely to be sensitive issues in bilateral discussions.

The Australian trip is Mr Macron's first visit Down Under. He hosted Mr Turnbull at the Elysee Palace in Paris in 2017.

Former President Hollande made a state visit to Australia in November 2014 in the lead-up to Australia hosting the G20 Summit.

After his short visit to Sydney, Mr Macron will travel to New Caledonia to rally support for the territory remaining part of France when residents go to a referendum in early November.

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