France and India


Strategic Partnership

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. The Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs visited India from 8 to 11 January 2017 and from 17 to 19 November 2017. Prime Minister Modi met with President Macron in Paris on 3 June 2017. The French President made a State visit to India from 9 to 12 March 2018. On this occasion, numerous accords were signed, including an industrial agreement (by EDF) for the construction of 6 nuclear reactors in Jaitapur (Maharashtra).

For more information, visit the website of the French Embassy in India

Economic relations

Structurally negative for France since the 2008 crisis, French-Indian trade, which represents about €14 billion (30% of which is in services), is balancing out. In 2016, France posted its lowest deficit with India (- €776 million), which can mainly be explained by aviation imports (the most dynamic sector for France) and a lower cost of raw materials. The import coverage ratio for goods (over 90%) is higher than that of services (80%). Indian imports represent 1.3% of the French market.

France is among the top foreign investors in India. Today, more than 1,000 French companies across 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 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.

There are nearly 5,000 Indian students, and this number has more than doubled over the last five years. French efforts cover two areas: scholarship programmes and partnerships between Indian and French institutions. The March 2018 signing of a diploma recognition agreement and an agreement on migration and mobility should further increase the number of Indian students in France.

Scientific and technical 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 on 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.

Environmental cooperation

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 establishment of 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. The Alliance received fresh momentum following the inaugural summit, which was held during the President’s visit to India.

Cultural cooperation

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: 18 June 2018