Modi’s France visit to likely boost economic cooperation and shape EU-India strategic ties

Public TV English
Public TV English
7 Min Read

NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to France is likely to boost economic cooperation between India and France and shape broader strategic ties between European Union and India, Media India Group reported, adding that his visit to France holds special significance as the two nations are celebrating 25 years of their strategic partnership.

PM Modi will visit France to attend the Bastille Day Parade as the Guest of Honour at the invitation of French President Emmanuel Macron.

He will be the second Indian PM after Manmohan Singh in 2009 to be the Guest of Honour at Bastille Day Parade, the report said.

PM Modi’s visit presents an opportunity for the two nations to move into the next phase in the India-France strategic partnership and set new ambitious goals for cultural, scientific, academic, economic cooperation and wide range of interests, Sunil Prasad, Secretary General of Brussels based Europe India Chamber of Commerce wrote in the Media India Group report. So far, India has signed more than 35 strategic partnerships agreement with countries. However, India signed the first-ever strategic partnership with France in January 1998.

In the past 25 years, through numerous bilateral meetings, a strong institutional mechanism has been established to strengthen cooperation between India and France in the space, defence, civil nuclear, renewables, cyberspace, digital technology, counter terrorism and the blue economy sectors, the report noted.

These initiatives not only cover the two nations, however, some are also multilateral, it added.

India and France at the Paris Climate Change Summit in 2015 jointly launched International Solar Alliance to promote solar energy in 121 tropical countries all over the world. India and France enjoy synergy in the defence sector.

France is set to play a significant role in the growth of India’s civil aviation industry. In June, Air India and IndiGo announced purchase agreements to acquire 250 and 500 aircrafts respectively from Airbus during the Paris Air show. The agreement marks a landmark milestone in ties between India and France.

France is a nation of the Indo-Pacific and PM Modi’s visit will help strengthen the collaboration between two nations in the Indo-Pacific where France has overseas territories and an exclusive economic zone. The two nations share a vision of a free, open, and rules-based order, based on commitment to international law, respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity, freedom of navigation and a region free from coercion, tensions, and conflicts, according to Media India Group report.

France hosts the fourth-largest Indian community in Europe after the United Kingdom, Italy, and Germany, and is making efforts to attract students and professionals from India. A bilateral agreement on migration and mobility cooperation is already in place between two nations which aims to facilitate circular migration on the basis of mobility and return of skills to the home country.

PM Modi’s visit will leverage India as an active strategic partner on many dimensions, which includes gathering investors, focusing on clean energy and global peace, Media India Group reported, adding that his visit will strengthen the spirit of cooperation with India’s European partners and mould India’s image as a reliable and confidant collaborative partner.

India and France have trade relations since the 17th century. Bilateral trade between two nations stands at EUR 10.7 billion with more than 1,000 French companies in India having a total turnover of $20 billion. Meanwhile, 210 Indian companies are operating in France with an investment stock of EUR 1 billion. France is the 11th largest foreign investor in India with a total FDI stock of $10,389 million from April 2000 to September 2022.

The relations between India and France is a defining strategic partnership which presents an opportune moment for the two leaders to revitalise multilateralism. France openly backs India’s desire for a permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council, Media India Group reported.

One of the important features of India’s foreign policy under the leadership of PM Modi has been its flexibility to accept ground realities and its willingness to embrace change, Media India Group reported, adding that his visit to France presents an opportunity to tell Europe that despite the different views on global issues, India values its ties with Europe and it believes in shared future and common values.

As the Indian Army contingent is also set to participate in Bastille Day celebrations, the preparations for which are currently on in full swing. During the preparations of the Indian Army contingent at the event on Monday, the Chief of Defence Staff of France, Gen Thierry Burkhard and Military Governor of Paris, Lt Gen Christophe Abad, took the salute from the Indian contingent.

Taking to Twitter, the Indian Army posted a video of the marching contingent with a message that read, “Participation of the Indian Armed Forces Contingent is testimony to more than a Century old affiliation and the bond between both the Armies and the Nations.”
“It reminds us of the valour & courage of the Indian soldiers on the French soil during the World Wars,” the Indian Army tweeted.

On Sunday, the Indian Tri services contingent held practice sessions in France for the Bastille Day parade, the Indian Defence officials said. (ANI)

Share This Article