Published on: February 10, 2023

India –France

India –France


Why in news? As, India and France celebrates 25 years of their strategic partnership , it presents an important opportunity for both to introspect on their relations.


  • The time-tested strategic partnership was signed in 1998 has continued to gain momentum over shared values and aspirations of peace, stability and, most importantly, their desire for strategic autonomy.


  • France has emerged as a key trading partner of India with annual trade of $12.42 billion in 2021-22.
  • It is the 11th largest foreign investor in India with a cumulative investment of $10.31 billion from April 2000 to June 2022


  • It has emerged as a key defence partner for India, becoming the second largest defence supplier in 2017- 2021.

France has crucial defence deals and increased military to military engagement.

  • Inducting of the French Scorpene conventional submarines, being built in India under technology transfer agreement of 2005,
  • Indian Air Force received 36 Rafale fighter jets.
  • The Tata group has also tied up with Airbus to manufacture C-295 tactical transport aircraft in Vadodara, Gujarat and expected to be expanded into other civilian and military aircraft manufacturing in a joint venture .
  • Robust network of military dialogues and regularly held joint exercises — Varuna (navy), Garuda (air force), and Shakti (army).


  • France became one of the first European country to outline a strategy for the Indo-Pacific, seeks for strategic partnerships in the region with India
  • Maritime security has further gained momentum as both countries have articulated their common vision for a free, fair and open Indo-Pacific.
  • India and France in September 2022 agreed to set up an Indo-Pacific Trilateral Development Cooperation Fund that will support sustainable innovative solutions for countries in the region.

Civil Nuclear Energy Cooperation

  • France was among the first countries with which India signed a civil nuclear deal.
  • Paris also played a critical role in limiting India’s isolation in the non-proliferation order after the 1998 nuclear tests.

Space Cooperation

  • ISRO and CNES (French National Space Agency) have an umbrella agreement, operating successfully since 1993, under which joint missions like Megha-Tropiques and SARAL have been taken up.
  • Arianespace based at France has been the major provider of launch services to Indian Geo-Stationary satellites
  • Both the countries have signed an agreement on collaboration for Mission Gaganyaan

Cultural Exchanges

  • ICPR sends, every year, one scholar for one month to Paris to carry out some research work on Indian / French Philosophy
  • Bonjour India 2022 will showcase in 19 Indian cities a program of 120 events created in collaboration with French and Indian partners, in domains including education, science, literature, cinema, gastronomy, street art, performing arts and photography.
  • Indo-French Bilateral Film Co-Production Agreement was signed between both the countries to enhance movies outreach across the borders


  • India has supported France in the Paris Agreement expressing its strong commitment towards mitigating climate change impact.
  • New Delhi and Paris, as part of their joint efforts on climate change, launched the International Solar Alliance in 2015.
  • Year 2021 was declared as Indo-French alliance towards a Greener Planet
  • India, France and the United Arab Emirates agreed on a trilateral initiative to undertake energy projects with a focus on solar and nuclear sources, fight climate change and protect biodiversity, particularly in the Indian Ocean region

Way Forward

  • India’s partnership with France is built on common values and goals and understand each other’s interests and dependencies, be it in relation to China or Russia.
  • Both the countries have underlined the ‘importance of maintaining strategic autonomy with a shared understanding of global risks in many domains.
  • High-level India-France political dialogue that is ongoing in defence, maritime, counterterrorism and the Indo-Pacific are now forging ahead with cooperation in issues such as digitisation, cyber, green energy, a blue economy, ocean sciences, and space’.
  • In the marking of a long strategic partnership, a common interest in enhancing strategic autonomy and improving resilience, there is much ground ahead for further collaboration


  • India- France have established ties rest on a foundation of common values and goals. Discuss