Mr. Narasimhan Narayanan, President, EssilorLuxottica - South Asia

India and France: Charting a Course for a Stronger Strategic Partnership by 2047


The global landscape is in flux, with alliances shifting and partnerships evolving to address complex challenges. Today, the strategic partnership between India and France stands out as a beacon of stability and cooperation. United by a commitment to democracy, pluralism and a multilateral world order, the two nations have built a robust partnership encompassing security, defence, trade, and cultural exchange. France is a leading trade partner for India within the European Union, and as India's economic reforms and growth trajectory continue, opportunities for deeper engagement will multiply.

Strengthening the Economic Pillar

France is already a significant investor in India, with a cumulative investment exceeding USD 10.49 billion. Bilateral trade has also seen impressive growth, reaching a peak of USD 13.4 billion in 2022- 23. Establishing joint investment promotion mechanisms and trade facilitation platforms to propel this momentum further can streamline investment flows and trade expansion in key sectors. Regular dialogues between government and industry representatives can identify and address trade barriers, fostering a more conducive business environment.

Fostering Technology Transfer and Collaboration

France boasts advanced technologies in aviation, space, and food processing. With its vast talent pool and manufacturing capabilities, India can leverage these technologies to drive innovation and economic growth. Facilitating partnerships between French technology firms, research institutions, and their Indian counterparts can promote technology transfer, joint research projects, exchange programs, and the creation of innovation hubs. This cross-border collaboration will enhance the competitiveness of both nations.

Investing in Education and Skill Development

India and France can develop a skilled workforce through joint skill development initiatives. Exchange programs for students, researchers, and professionals in mutual interest areas will promote knowledge sharing and innovation. Scholarships and training programs focused on sectors where France excels can equip the workforce with essential skills. Establishing innovation hubs and incubators will foster entrepreneurship and collaboration between French companies and Indian startups, offering mentorship, funding, and networking opportunities to drive innovation and business growth.

Empowering Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs)

By facilitating matchmaking events and business delegations, India and France can connect their respective SMEs, fostering collaboration, technology transfer, and market access. Support services like mentorship, access to finance, and capacity building can further enhance the competitiveness of SMEs from both countries.

Enhancing Healthcare and Life Sciences

Collaboration between healthcare institutions, pharmaceutical companies, and research organisations can address common healthcare challenges and pave the way for innovative solutions. Facilitating technology transfer for joint research initiatives and capacity-building programs can strengthen healthcare systems in both countries. EssilorLuxottica has set a strong example in this regard, by continuously introducing the latest innovations to India, including best-in-class myopia control lenses. Over the past 25+ years, EssilorLuxottica’s network of labs and service centres in India has provided the best innovations and customer experiences in collaboration with the entire optical industry. The organisation’s strong partnerships have added value to communities and markets and its robust Corporate and OneSight EssilorLuxottica’s programs are now widely regarded as an industry benchmark.

As India and France embark on this shared journey towards 2047, they must reaffirm their commitment to regional stability and global prosperity. By leveraging their strengths and collaborating in areas like climate change, cybersecurity, and space exploration, they can build a partnership that addresses critical global challenges and propels both nations towards a brighter future.

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