FRANCE-INDIA BUSINESS TIES BEYOND DEFENCE
Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Diplomatist|April 2021
India and France share excellent bilateral relations since diplomatic ties were established soon after India’s independence in 1947, in all spheres including in the strategic arena.
AMB MANJU SETH

A large number of visits over the years including at the highest levels from both sides reflect the special nature of the ties and the importance accorded by both sides to further strengthen these ties. The strategic partnership established in 1998 based on shared values and a common world view has segued into close collaboration on counter-terrorism, defence cooperation, cybersecurity, maritime security regional and global issues and cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region. India-France relations have acquired greater depth in recent years and while the pillars underpinning the ties are defence, space and civil nuclear cooperation, the two sides are increasingly moving into new spheres and are collaborating in the areas of smart cities, railways, tourism, food processing, climate change and renewable energy with a view to diversifying and increasing investment and business avenues between the two countries.

To give impetus and structure to the relationship a large number of agreements and MOUs have been signed covering a wide range of areas including in the economic and commercial sector enabling clarity for companies on both sides to do seamless and smooth business with each other. The Joint Committee for Economic and Technical cooperation set up in January 1976 regularly reviews and monitors bilateral economic and trade cooperation and suggests ways to facilitate and enhance trade and economic ties and investments.

France is the 7th largest economy in the world and a key member of the G-7, OECD and G-20 and is a leader in innovative technology with strengths in aviation, space, food processing, transport, railways, agricultural research, etc. This presents many opportunities for enhancing investments, collaborations and business given India’s technological manpower strengths and at the same time the need for innovation and modernising of existing systems in India. France is the 9th largest foreign investor in India with a cumulative investment of US$ 9.67 b from April 2000 to September 2020.

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