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 a regular exchange of visits at the highest level. Prime Minister of India, Mr Narendra Modi, visited France in August 2019 at the invitation of the President of the French Republic, Mr Emmanuel Macron, for a Bilateral Summit in Paris and to participate in the G7 Summit in Biarritz under the French presidency of the G7. The French President’s visit to India in 2018 included signing of many agreements between the countries to deepen the partnership.
France and India work closely together on tackling climate change and furthering space exploration. In 2019, they have welcomed the decision to train medical support personnel for Indian astronauts, who will be part of India’s manned space mission by 2022. The training will be carried out in France and in India. Together, we have also launched a Space Climate Observatory that further enhances Indo-French cooperation on combating climate change.
France is the 9th largest investor in India, with cumulative FDI inflows of $6.9 bn since April 2000. The sectors attracting the most FDI from France are cement and gypsum products, drugs and pharmaceuticals, industrial machinery and automobiles. In 2018-19, imports from France were valued at $6.6 bn, and exports at $5.2 bn.
In 2018-19, bilateral trade between the two countries touched $11.8 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.
In 2019, France and India agreed to significantly enhance people-to-people contacts and cultural exchanges. The countries have agreed on regular dialogue on consular matters, which will facilitate exchange and mobility.
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. Over 250,000 tourists from France visited India in 2018.
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.
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.
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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