Mr. Ashish Saraf, VP and Country Director, Thales in India

India and France Strengthening Strategic Partnership Towards Viksit Bharat by 2047


Since the establishment of diplomatic relations between India and France, the two countries have embarked on a journey to strengthen their strategic relationship, bound by historical ties and shared democratic values. By elevating the partnership to a strategic level in 1998, both nations have emphasised their commitment to furthering cooperation. India and France have committed to a longterm vision for their bilateral relationship through the "Horizon 2047" roadmap, signed on the Bastille Day in Paris in 2023. This roadmap outlines a path for cooperation up to the year 2047, coinciding with India's centenary of independence and 50 years of the strategic partnership between the two nations, with a particular emphasis on scientific collaboration. The two countries are now looking forward to a new phase of cooperation in various sectors, including defence, space, trade, technology, renewable energy, and climate action, paving the way for Viksit Bharat (developed India) by 2047.

Strengthening defence capabilities for building a secured future

Today, India and France share an enduring friendship rooted in common values and aspirations, with a key pillar being defence cooperation. France has significantly contributed to strengthening the Indian armed forces through joint military exercises, defence imports, and now joint defence production initiatives. These efforts highlight the growing interoperability and trust between the two nations’ armed forces, thereby supporting India's modernisation efforts and the maintenance of strategic deterrence against potential risks. With the Indian government's emphasis on ‘Make in India’ initiative and Aatmanirbhar Bharat (self-reliant) vision, the collaboration between India and France has led to a new wave of indigenisation and sustainability, enabling co-design, co-development, and coproduction of advanced defence technologies.

Besides defence, trade and economic cooperation are also key pillars of the India-France relationship. The total trade for FY 2022-23 has breached the $13 billion, with exports from India crossing $7 billion. Both countries are working to further enhance their economic ties, with a focus on sectors such as renewable energy, infrastructure, and digital technology. The recent visit of French President Emmanuel Macron to India around Republic Day has resulted in boosting bilateral trade and investment.

Emphasis on Bolstering Space and Technological Innovations

While defence and trade have been the cornerstones of the Indo-French partnership, the two countries are now diversifying into new sectors, broadening the scope of collaboration. With a shared vision of harnessing innovation and technology, India and France are committed to fostering a strong partnership across various dimensions, including cloud computing, artificial intelligence in defence, quantum technologies and cybersecurity. Additionally, the India-France Strategic Space Dialogue, along with other initiatives related to joint satellite missions like Trishna and human spaceflight, serve as a testament to the enduring partnership between India and France and further solidifies their position as key players in the global space community.

The Future of Indo-French Partnership

As India and France look towards 2047, the centenary of India’s independence, both countries are committed to further deepening their strategic partnership, based on mutual respect, trust, and shared interests. By enhancing cooperation in defence, trade, technology, and climate action, India and France are laying the foundation for a stronger and more prosperous future together.

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