Indo-French Strategic Partnership: 25th-anniversary

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    India- France Relations

    • Beginning and Developments 
      • Signed in 1998, the Indo-French Strategic Partnership has continued to gain momentum over shared values and strategic autonomy.
      • France was among the first countries with which India signed a civil nuclear deal.
      • Paris also played a critical role in limiting India’s isolation in the non-proliferation order after the 1998 nuclear tests.
    • Trade & Commerce
      • France has emerged as a key trading partner of India with annual trade of $12.42 billion in 2021-22. 
      • France is the 11th largest foreign investor in India with a cumulative investment of $10.31 billion in past two decades, which represents 1.70% of the total foreign direct investment inflows into India. 
    • Defence
      • France has emerged as a key defence partner for India, becoming the second largest defence supplier in 2017- 2021
      • France is a major strategic partner for India with crucial defence deals and increased military to military engagement. Some of the examples are
        • Induction  of the French Scorpene conventional submarines, being built in India under technology transfer agreement of 2005,
        •  the Indian Air Force’s fulfilled order of 36 Rafale fighter jets. 
        • The Tata group’s tie-up with Airbus to manufacture C-295 tactical transport aircraft in Vadodara, Gujarat.
      • These relations are further fortified with the robust network of military dialogues and regularly held joint exercises — Varuna (navy), Garuda (air force), and Shakti (army). 
      • France is willing to  partner India as it builds its national industrial base for the defence industry and for critical strategic defence projects
    • Climate Change
      • India has supported France in the Paris Agreement expressing its strong commitment towards mitigating climate change impact. 
      • New Delhi and Paris, as part of their joint efforts on climate change, launched the International Solar Alliance in 2015.
    • Indo-Pacific
      • India and France are resident powers of the Indian Ocean and in the Indo-Pacific. 
      • Joint Strategic Vision of India-France Cooperation in the Indian Ocean Region” presents a blueprint for a strengthening of ties like Franco-Indian joint patrolling in the Indian Ocean.
      • India and France agreed to set up an Indo-Pacific Trilateral Development Cooperation Fund that will support innovative solutions for countries in the region. 
      • The two partners have formed a trilateral grouping with the United Arab Emirates to ensure security from the east coast of Africa to the far Pacific. 
    • Support for NSG :  
      • France supports India’s bid for permanent membership of the United Nations Security Council as well as its entry into the Nuclear Suppliers Group

    Common Concerns: 

    • Both countries share concerns over the rise of China and its aggressive behaviour, regionally and globally, and have committed to working together to ensure that there is no imbalance in the Indo-Pacific.
    • There is a broad understanding of each other’s position and resolve to coordinate to find a solution when they find themselves in opposite camps for example Russia-Ukraine crisis 
    • Having no  real substantive disagreements between the two nations is rare in international relations.

    Future Outlook 

    • India’s partnership with France is built on common values and goals.
    •  The ongoing high-level India-France political dialogue in defence, maritime, counterterrorism, and the Indo-Pacific. is moving forward in  digitisation, cyber, green energy, a blue economy, ocean sciences, and space’, making this truly a decade for INDO-FRENCH cooperation.