India, France to set up Indo-Pacific Trilateral Framework

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    • Recently, India and France agreed to expand cooperation in the Indo-Pacific body.

    More about the news

    • Indo-Pacific trilateral framework:  
      • India and France recently agreed to set up an Indo-Pacific trilateral framework to roll out development projects.
        • India and France also decided to expand cooperation in the Indo-Pacific under separate trilaterals with Australia and the United Arab Emirates.
    • Overall Indo-Pacific cooperation:
      • France and India share a comprehensive strategy for the Indo-Pacific that seeks to provide tangible solutions for maritime security, regional cooperation, climate change adaptation and mitigation, biodiversity protection, and healthcare.
    • Ukraine war & food crisis:
      • Both nations decided to expand strategic cooperation and vowed to work closely to deal with pressing global challenges such as the food crisis triggered by the Ukraine war.
      • France is determined to work with India addressing the “terrible consequences” of the war.
    • International platforms/groupings:
      • Significance of upcoming G20 summit: 
        • In dealing with the global food crisis, an initiative could be proposed at the upcoming G20 summit in Indonesia to ensure that the most vulnerable countries “don’t remain too exposed to these food security issues.
        • France extended full support to India’s upcoming G20 presidency
      • India’s permanent seat at UNSC:
        • France committed to continue to push for a permanent seat for India at UNSC.
    • Other:
      • India – country of honour:
        • India will be the first “country of honour” at the Sea Tech Week in Brest, France, a major international event bringing together blue economy stakeholders.
      • UPI in France:
        • both the ministers welcomed the launch of India’s Unified Payment Interface (UPI) in France.

    India and France Relations

    • Strategic partnership: 
      • In 1998, the two countries entered into Strategic Partnership which is emblematic of their convergence of views on a range of International issues apart from a close and growing bilateral relationship.
      • France has stood by India through thick and thin, beginning with 1998 when India conducted nuclear tests and the entire world was against us.
    • Support: 
      • France has continued to support India’s claim for permanent membership of the United Nations Security Council and the reforms of the United  Nations
      • France’s support was vital in India’s accession to the Missile Technology  Control Regime (MTCR), Wassenaar Arrangement (WA) and Australia Group (AG).  
      • France continues to support India’s bid for accession to the Nuclear Suppliers  Group (NSG).
    • Indo-Pacific:
      • France is a preferred partner in the Indo-Pacific and there is now a blueprint for cooperation in this field in the form of a Joint Strategic Vision for cooperation in the Indian Ocean Region concluded by both countries in 2018.
    • Economic Cooperation:
      • Both India and France have important bilateral investments and trade and  commercial cooperation, particularly in sectors involving IT corridors,smart-cities, railways, capital and trade exchanges,skill development etc.  
    • Defence:
      • Cooperation in defence is the cornerstone of the India France strategic  partnership. 
      • The two countries have a Ministerial level Defence dialogue, which  has been held annually since 2018
      • The three services also have regular defence exercises; viz. 
        • Exercise Shakti (Army; the last one took place in November 2019 in India), 
        • Exercise Varuna (Navy; is scheduled to be held in the gulf of Oman from 25 to 27 April 2021), 
        • Exercise Garuda (Air Force; July 2019 in France). 
      • Purchase of Rafale aircraft: 
        • The Inter-governmental agreement for purchase of  36 Rafale fighter aircrafts (30 fighter aircrafts and 6 trainers) by India in flyaway condition was signed in New Delhi on 23 September 2016. 
      • P-75 Scorpene Project: 
        • The contract for six Scorpene submarines from DCNS  (Naval Group) was signed in October 2006. 
    • Space: 
      • Space has always been central to the strategic partnership of our two countries. 
      • India and France have a rich history of cooperation in the field of space for  over 50 years with ISRO and the French Space Agency (CNES) carrying on various  joint research programmes and launch of satellites. 
    • Environment and Renewable Energy:
      • France is a founding member of the International Solar Alliance (ISA), announced by PM Modi in 2015 at UN Climate Change CoP21. 
    • Cooperation in the fields of S&T and Education:
      • In the field of S&T, the Indo-French Centre for the Promotion of Advance  Research (CEFIPRA) based in New Delhi, established in 1987, plays a major role  by identifying and funding joint proposals for research projects. 
    • Counter-terrorism:
      • India and France have consistently condemned terrorism and have resolved to work together for adoption of the Comprehensive Convention on International  Terrorism (CCIT) in the UN. 
    • New areas of cooperation:
      • India and France are increasingly engaged in new areas of cooperation like  security in the Indian Ocean region, climate change including the International  Solar Alliance, and sustainable growth and development among others.
    • Maritime Security:
      • India and France already have a high level dialogue on maritime security, and this enables the two to raise strategic issues in the Indo-Pacific.
      • Blue economy:
        • Both nations have inked a roadmap to enhance their bilateral exchanges on the blue economy and forge a common vision of ocean governance based on the rule of law and cooperate on sustainable and resilient coastal and waterways infrastructure. 
    • Culture: 
      • Indian culture enjoys a wide following amongst the people of France. 
      • The  International Day of Yoga has been organised by the Embassy of India in Paris and  other cities of France since 2016 and has received wide acclaim and press  coverage. 
      • Year long celebrations have also been organised to commemorate 150th  Birth Anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, 550th Birth Anniversary of Shri Gurunanak Devji

    Source: TH