Our shared heritage has led to a strong strategic partnership with an impetus to strong economic ties between India and the French Republic. The strategic partnership stands on the pillars of defence cooperation, space cooperation and civil nuclear cooperation. In addition, the two countries are successfully cooperating in the areas of smart cities, railways, tourism, food processing and renewable energy.
India and France have regular bilateral visits at the highest level. In 2017, the Indian Prime Minister’s visit to France reiterated the commitment to bolster the India-France strategic partnership. In 2018, the French President’s visit to India saw the signing of many agreements to further strengthen this partnership.
France and India also work closely on issues related to the environment and climate change. The International Solar Alliance was co-launched by France and India in November 2015 and has since paved the way for equability and a just energy order in the international arena.
France is the 10th largest investor in India, with cumulative FDI inflows of $ 6.6 bn since April 2000. The sectors attracting the most FDI from France are cement and gypsum products, drugs & pharmaceuticals, industrial machinery and automobiles. In 2017-18, imports from France were valued at $ 6.5 bn, and exports at $ 4.9 bn.
In 2017, bilateral trade between the two countries touched $ 10 bn for the first time. There are more than 1,000 French companies in India, that have a total turnover of $ 20 bn and employ 300,000 people. This is a testament to the strength of the Indo - French association.
India is proud to host 25 French R&D centres in the country. With around 15 joint French-Indian research laboratories and almost 500 collaborative projects, France is India’s 5th largest scientific partner.
There are 120 Indian companies in France, that have an estimated investment stock of $ 1.1 bn and employ 7,000 people.
France is partnering with India to develop Chandigarh, Puducherry and Nagpur as smart cities. It has already committed over $ 2.2 bn for India’s ‘Smart Cities’ project.
India and France organise reciprocal festivals that aim to promote the countries’ cultures. India organised the Namaste France Festival in 2016, which brought to French audiences various manifestations of Indian culture and art. The French side presented the French cultural festival, Bonjour India from November 2017 to February 2018 in India.
In 2018, close to 7,500 Indian students chose France as the destination to pursue higher education. The Indian Government has offered French Nationals 5 scholarships to study Sanskrit in India.
France hosts more than 700,000 Indian tourists every year, making it the most popular European tourist destination for Indians.
French auto major Citroen is planning its debut in India next year by opening stores in 10 cities. These stores will be equipped with technologies allowing the users to experience the accessories before buying the car.
Alstom India, subsidiary of French Alstom SA, under the Make in India initiative has assembled 22 train coaches to be used in Sydney Metro Line.
The French glassmaker announced investment of over $ 168 mn in their plant in Chennai to build new manufacturing lines of third-glass float, magnetron floater, glass solutions and a rainwater harvesting facility.
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