External affairs minister discusses key regional, global issues with French counterpart

Contact Counsellor

External affairs minister discusses key regional, global issues with French counterpart

  • Key regional and global issues particularly the India-E.U. relationship, situation in Afghanistan, Iranian nuclear deal and the Ukraine crisis were discussed between Indian External minister and his French counterpart
  • Both have reiterated their shared commitment to the principles of multilateralism and a rules-based order, and agreed to coordinate in the Security Council on issues of mutual concern.

Outcomes of Discussion

  • India will participate in the E.U. Ministerial Forum on Cooperation in the Indo-Pacific which is an initiative by France
  • In the context of the Ministerial Forum, the two Ministers agreed to jointly launch the Indo-French call for an “Indo-Pacific Parks Partnership” during the E.U. Forum.
  • Both countries have agreed to intensify India-E.U. ties under the French Presidency, and the need to begin negotiations on the Free Trade and Investment Agreements and implement the India-E.U. Connectivity Partnership.
  • Both sides also adopted the ""India-France Roadmap on the Blue Economy and Ocean Governance”
  • They have also agreed to continue and enhance their cooperation in and agreed to soon conclude a Joint Declaration of Intent in the Area of Sports
  • It is aimed at further facilitating people-to-people contact

India-France Roadmap on the Blue Economy and Ocean Governance

  • It is aimed at enhancing partnership in the field of blue economy by way of institutional, economic, infrastructural and scientific cooperation

Indo-Pacific Parks Partnership

  • It is aimed at building capacities in the Indo-Pacific region, in terms of sustainable management of protected areas
  • It will be done by gathering and sharing the experiences and expertise that exist in the region among key Indo-Pacific public & private natural park managers

Economic cooperation between India and France

  • Sectors of commercial cooperation between both countries are IT corridors,smart-cities, railways, capital and trade exchanges ,skill development etc.
  • France is the 7th largest foreign investor in India with a cumulative FDI stock of USD 9 billion from April 2000 to December 2020, - 2 % of total FDI inflows.
  • More than 150 Indian companies are operating in France (including sub-subsidiaries), employing more than 7,000 persons

Nuclear cooperation

  • Civil nuclear cooperation agreement was signed in 2008 between both countries
  • Industrial Way Forward Agreement was signed in 2018 for the construction of six nuclear reactors at Jaitapur.
  • Nuclear Reactor construction: French multinational energy company EDF has submitted its offer to provide assistance in the construction of 6 nuclear reactors in the Indian province of Maharashtra.

Defence cooperation

  • Exercise Shakti is the defence exercise b/w armies of both nations ;
  • Exercise Varuna is the defence exercises b/w Navies of both nations
  • Exercise Garuda defence exercises b/w Air Forces of both nations;
  • La Pérouse exercise: Indian Navy participated in French led exercise with Quad members in 2021.
  • Mutual logistic support Agreement: to receive logistical support, supplies and services from each other during authorised port visits, joint exercises, etc.
  • Purchase of Rafale aircraft: Intergovernmental 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-751 submarine project: it envisages construction of 24 submarines indigenously along with public and private industries of appropriate designs in two phases.
  • Make in India: cooperation in the defence industry field and extension of support to existing and upcoming partnerships b/w the defence companies of the two countries inline with “Make in India”

Space and Technology cooperation

  • France helped India to set up the Sriharikota launch site, liquid engine development and hosting of payloads.
  • Joint research by ISRO and CNES : areas under research are Earth observation, Maritime domain awareness, Global navigation satellite system, exploration of solar system, space transportation system and human spaceflight.
  • Collaboration Projects: TRISHNA (for ecosystem stress and water use monitoring) and accommodation of French instruments on India’s OCEANSAT-3 satellite.
  • GSAT-11 was launched from Kourou (French Guiana) in December 2018; GSAT-30 was launched on 16 January 2020
  • Joint Vision for Space Cooperation: it was issued in 2018
  • Its aim is to bring societal benefits of space technology

Cultural Cooperation

  • Vivekananda Cultural Centre: Indian Cultural Centre opened in Paris.
  • Namaste France: held in 2016 across France displaying various facets of Indian art and culture.
  • Scholarships in Sanskrit: GoI has also offered five scholarships for study of Sanskrit in India to French nationals.


  • Lack of FTA: negotiation talks are still under negotiation which hinders the relations between both countries
  • Economic slowdown in France is also impeding the economic relations
  • BRI: France’s commitment to Belt & Road Initiative is in stark contrast to India’s stand as well; hence there is strategic differences b/w the two nations
  • Weak Business relations: Bilateral trade is less than half of India’s trade with Germany.
  • The target of €12 billion set in 2008 remains elusive.

Way Forward

  • ISRO is the cheapest space agency for satellite launches globally and french academia and industry can avail these services
  • Allied Navigation System: France can push EU to confer “allied navigation system” to NAVIC and extend interoperability with EU’s Galileo system
  • Trade: Both countries should conclude an FTA to enhance the economic relations
  • France can be India’s gateway to Europe and India France’s first strategic partner in Asia by leveraging the potential of convergences