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India and France Strategic Dialogue 2021 held in New Delhi; Ajit Doval Represented India

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India France discuss counter-terrorismOn January 7, 2021, the annual India and France Strategic Dialogue 2021 to discuss regional and global issues was held at New Delhi where Indian delegation was led by National Security Advisor Ajit Doval and French delegation was represented by Emmanuel Bonne, Diplomatic Advisor to the French President.

  • The key focus areas of discussions were Covid-19 vaccines, cooperation within the Indo-Pacific area, nuclear, space, maritime safety, environment, digital economy, counter-terrorism, cybersecurity and defence sectors.
  • The last edition of the Strategic Dialogue was held in February 2020 in Paris, France. It is held with the two countries as alternating as hosts.
  • Shri Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ addressed the ‘International Monolithic conference’ organised by CUPB.

India-France Relations:

—France wants partnership with India to uphold international law, fight terror and defend multilateralism .

–France welcomed India’s stint at the UN Security Council for two years term of 2021-22 and reaffirmed its support for India’s permanent seat.

–France is a key partner of India in the Indian Ocean. Recently, India signed a logistics sharing agreement with France enabling both nations to use each other’s military facilities.

–India and France have robust economic and strategic ties. Now, India is deepening its military and defence ties with France by signing various agreements for the purchase of French defence platforms including fighter jets, helicopters, and submarines.

–On economic front, the French companies have been among the top investors in India in the fields of renewable energy, defence, infrastructure and smart cities, and pharmaceuticals.

  • India-France trade stands at around $13 billion (2019).
  • The major French import (worth around $6 billion) comprises helicopters, aero-planes, satellites and spacecraft launch vehicles while India’s exports (worth $7 billion) are more diversified with petroleum having the largest share of 17%.

After the dialogue, Emmanuel Bonne called on the Prime Minister, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh  and External Affairs Minister Dr. Subrahmanyam Jaishankar. He also addressed the Vivekananda International Foundation on “France and India: Partners for a stable and prosperous Indo-Pacific.”

France has emerged as a key partner of India in the Indian Ocean.

Recent Related News:

i.India became the 6th Country to manufacture High Power Electric Locomotives indigenously. In 2015, the Ministry of Railways & Alstom (France) signed a contract worth €3.5 billion (INR 25,000 crore) to produce High Power Electric.

ii.Union Minister of Housing and Urban Affairs Hardeep Singh Puri and French Minister delegate for foreign trade and Economic Attractiveness Franck Riester launched “Bilateral Fastrack Mechanism” to increase investments in the 18th session of India France Joint Committee.

About France:

Capital– Paris
Currencies– Euro, CFP franc
President– Emmanuel Jean-Michel Frederic Macron