France and India

Political relations

Relations between India and France were reinforced with the creation of the Strategic Partnership in 1998, which demonstrates the ties of friendship and trust between the two countries. Regular meetings between Indian and French authorities fuel an in-depth, long-term political dialogue. President Hollande made a State visit to India on 24 and 26 January 2016. This visit followed on from Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s official visit to France on 10 and 11 April 2015. The Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development visited India on 5 February 2015, on 20 November 2015 (in preparation for COP21), then from 8 to 11 January 2017. Prime Minister Modi met with President Macron in Paris on 3 June 2017.

For more information, visit the website of the Embassy: https://in.ambafrance.org/-Visites-bilaterales-1537-

Economic relations

Structurally negative for France since the crisis in 2008, French-Indian trade is balancing out even though it remains below its potential. France posted its lowest deficit with India in 2016 of €776 million versus 2.2 billion in 2015, which can mainly be explained by aviation imports and a lower cost of raw materials.

French exports amounted to €3.91 billion in 2016 and French imports from India dropped to €4.46 billion. France is on track to become India’s second-leading EU supplier not including precious metals and stones behind Germany.

France is among the five top foreign investors in India. Today, more than 1,000 French companies covering a wide range of sectors are working there and employ approximately 300,000 people. The capital stock invested by those companies in India reportedly stands at around €20 billion. France and India signed an intergovernmental agreement on sustainable urban development in Paris on 5 October 2012. Under the agreement, France is taking an active part in implementing the Smart Cities sustainable urban development programme.

Cultural, scientific and technical cooperation

The development of academic, scientific and technical cooperation with India is also a priority for France.

In the academic field, some 3,000 Indian students were studying in France in 2015-2016. This number has been rising steadily and has more than doubled over the last five years. French efforts cover two areas: scholarship programmes and partnerships between Indian and French institutions.

Scientific and technical cooperation is another key area of our partnership. This cooperation builds on structures bringing together French and Indian researchers and scientists, such as the Indo-French Centre for the Promotion of Advanced Research (IFCPAR) since 1987 and the development of joint research laboratories in promising areas of research such as neuroscience and chemistry. The two Instituts Français in Delhi and Pondicherry round out our presence.

Finally, France and India are enhancing their cooperation in the field of the environment and the fight against climate change, through the activities of the Franco-Indian working group on the environment and the Agence Française de Développement (AFD) in India in 2008 with a mandate focused on the preservation of global public goods. Alliance Solaire Internationale, jointly launched by Prime Minister Modi and President Hollande in November 2015 at COP21 in Paris, promotes the development of solar energy.

India and France organize festivals, each in the country of the other, aiming to promote their culture: Namasté France and Bonjour India. In France, The Namasté France Festival showcased India from 15 September to 30 November 2016. In India, the Bonjour India Festival will be held from autumn 2017 through spring 2018.

Updated: 5 July 2017

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