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. On 15th April 2021, space agencies of both countries signed an agreement for cooperation for India’s first human space mission Gaganyaan. The agreement was announced during French Foreign Affairs Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian’s visit to the Indian Space Research Organisation’s (ISRO) headquarters. In 2019, both countries welcomed the decision for France to train medical support personnel for Indian astronauts, who will be part of the mission. Together, both countries have also launched a Space Climate Observatory that further enhances Indo-French cooperation on combating climate change.
India France held Strategic Dialogue 2021 - The Indian delegation was headed by National Security Advisor Ajit Doval while Emmanuel Bonne, diplomatic advisor to President Emmanuel Macron, led the French side. The two sides held discussions on a variety of issues including counter-terrorism, cybersecurity, defence cooperation, maritime security, regional and global issues and cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region.
Mr. François Delattre, Secretary-General, Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs of France, held bilateral talks with Foreign Secretary, Shri Harsh Vardhan Shringla, during the former’s official visit to India from 20-22nd December 2021. The visit comes on the heels of the Annual Defence Dialogue held on 17th December 2021 in New Delhi between Shri Rajnath Singh, Raksha Mantri and Ms. Florence Parly, French Minister for Armed Forces. The officials discussed the India-France potential for cooperation in sectors such as defence and security, space, cybersecurity and the digital economy, blue economy, education, energy, health and climate change.
COVID-19 Cooperation: India supplied France with nearly 2 mn hydroxychloroquine tablets and 36 MT of paracetamol (API) after having lifted export restrictions on these lifesaving drugs. France expressed its gratitude by sending 120 ventilators, 50 thousand serological tests, and 50 thousand nose/throat swabs as aid. France also announced a 200 million euro loan to India to help the vulnerable sections most severely affected by the pandemic. Over 2500 Indians had been repatriated from France and a similar number of French citizens were repatriated from India to their home countries through special flights.
National Security Advisor (NSA) Mr. Ajit Doval met with Mr. Emmanuel Bonne, Diplomatic Advisor to French President H.E. Emmanuel Macron, for the annual strategic dialogue between India and France on 6th November 2021. The topics discussed included:
Hon’ble Prime Minister of India, Shri Narendra Modi, held a bilateral meeting with the President of France, H.E. Mr. Emmanuel Macron, on the sidelines of the 16th G20 Summit in October 2021. Some of the topics discussed were:
French Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, H.E. Mr. Jean-Yves Le Drian, made an official visit to India in April 2021, where the following events took place:
In June 2021, France announced its intention to make a direct contribution of EUR 1 Mn to the International Solar Alliance (ISA), further strengthening and upgrading its partnership with India
The Indo-French Year of the Environment 2021-22 was launched in January 2021 by the French Minister for Ecological Transition, Ms Barbara Pompili, and India’s Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Mr. Prakash Javadekar. It serves as a platform for the two countries to engage in discussions on critical areas of collaboration relating to environment and allied areas.
France is the 11th largest investor in India, with cumulative FDI inflows of $10,065.52 mn during April 2000 - December 2021. The sectors attracting the most FDI from France are cement and gypsum products, drugs and pharmaceuticals, industrial machinery, and automobiles.
Bilateral trade between the two countries has been growing steadily and reached $9.12 bn in April 2020 - March 2021. The figure stands at $8.23 bn for April 2021 – December 2021.
India is proud to host 25 French R&D centres in the country. With around 15 joint Indo-French research laboratories and almost 500 collaborative projects, France is India’s 5th largest scientific partner. On 2nd December 2021, the Indian Institute of Science (IISc.) announced that it has signed an MoU to establish a 4-year partnership with 21 French institutions under the aegis of the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS), Government of France.
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.
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 2019, 10,000 Indian students chose to pursue higher studies in France. In 2020 and 2021, France welcomed Indian students and provided special assistance to help them through the COVID-19 situation. Government of India offers 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 destination for Indians. Over 74,243 tourists from France visited India in 2020.
In a significant development for the global power sector, Électricité de France S.A. (EDF), one of the world’s leading power sector companies headquartered in Paris, France, and NTPC Ltd, India’s largest energy integrated company signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to explore potential power project development opportunities in the Middle East, Asia, Europe, and Africa.
Total Renewables SAS, a wholly-owned subsidiary of international energy major Total SE has acquired share capital of Adani Green Energy Ltd (AGEL)
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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The World's Most Innovative Investment Promotion Agency Award 2021 awarded by OCO Global
United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) Investment Promotion Award 2020 for best practices in COVID response
Best Investment Project Award five years in a row - 2016 to 2020 at the Annual Investment Meeting (AIM) organized by the Ministry of Economy, UAE.
Great Place to Work Certification by GPTW Survey 2019
The UNCTAD Award 2018 for promoting investment in sustainable development
Great Place to Work Certification by GPTW Survey 2018
Investment Award 2016 from the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA)
United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) Investment Promotion Award 2016 for excellence in partnering for investment promotion