Mr Jean-Yvesh Le Drian, Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs France paid an official visit to India from April 13-15, 2021.
i.During the visit, Mr Le Drian held a meeting with the External Affairs Minister (EAM) of India Dr Subrahmanyam Jaishankar
- Participated in a panel discussion on Climate Change with Prakash Javadekar, Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC).
- Participated in Raisina Dialogue 2021, which is India’s premier conference on geopolitics and geoeconomics. It is hosted by the Observer Research Foundation (ORF) in partnership with the Ministry of External Affairs.
France to be part of Indo-Pacific Ocean Initiative (IPOI)
France has agreed to be part of the Indo-Pacific Ocean Initiative (IPOI).
- IPOI was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2019 at the 14 East Asian Summit (EAS) held in Bangkok, Thailand.
- The main objective of IPOI is to ensure the safety, security, and stability of the Maritime domain of the Indo-Pacific region. And in order to implement that 7 Pillars were laid out.
- Out of the 7 pillars, France has decided to take up the ‘Maritime Resources’ pillar of IPOI.
- IPOI is also part of India’s SAGAR (Security and Growth for All in the Region) Mission.
ISRO, CNES Sign agreement to cooperate on Gaganyaan Mission
Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) & French National Space Agency (CNES, Centre National D’Etudes Spatiales) have signed an Implementing Arrangement for cooperation concerning India’s 1st Human Space Mission ‘Gaganyaan’.
- The agreement was exchanged between ISRO Chairman Dr K Sivan & visiting French Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian.
- The main focus of the agreement was on sharing expertise in space medicines for the Gaganyaan Mission.
i.Components under the Agreement
- CNES will train India’s flight physicians and CAPCOM (Capsule Communicator) Team in France.
- CNES will provide support for the implementation of scientific experiment plans, food packaging and nutrition programme & for the use of french equipment by Indian astronauts during the mission
- Equipment developed by CNES which operate aboard the International Space Station (ISS) will be made available to Indian crews.
- The cooperation will be extended to provide technical support for the construction of an Astronaut Training centre in Bangalore, Karnataka.
- ISRO’s ‘Gaganyaan’ mission is scheduled for launch in 2022-23.
- India’s Gaganyaan Mission will make it just the 4th Nation to send a crew into space after Russia (1st), the USA & China.
Launch of Indo-French Tech Programme
MeitY Startup Hub (Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology) & La French Tech, Bengaluru have launched the Indo-French Tech Programme for supporting the Indo-French startup collaboration.
- The programme will facilitate a rapid convergence of the French and Indian startup ecosystems.
- It aims to establish linkages between Indian and French incubators and startups.
- The programme is supported by the MeitY, Government of India & French Government.
Indo-French Accelerator Program
Indo-French Accelerator program was launched for boosting the collaboration between India & France in the field of innovative technology.
- It will act as a platform for businesses, especially startups, to grow and get international recognition.
MoU between KITS & IFCCI
During the event, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between Karnataka Innovative & Technological Society (KITS) & IFCCI (Indo-French Chamber of Commerce and Industry) to strengthen ties on the technology front.
- The agreement will boost the innovation and startup ecosystems in Karnataka and France.
The visiting French Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian stated that both countries can assume the leadership role in the run-up to COP26 to be held in Glasgow, the UK in November 2021.
- The 2 countries are set to deepen collaboration for lowering the production cost of carbon-free hydrogen and work together to fight single-use plastics.
- In January 2021, Union Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change Prakash Javadekar launched the Indo-French Year of the Environment over the Period 2021-2022 to strengthen cooperation on climate issues.
- It is based on five main themes – environmental protection, climate change, biodiversity conservation, sustainable urban development, and the development of renewable energies and energy efficiency.
India-France Bilateral Relationship
- France is the 9th Largest Foreign Investor in India with a cumulative investment of USD 6.59 Billion from 2000-2018 (Singapore is India’s largest Investor).
- Bilateral Trade with France stood at USD 10.75 Billion in 2020.
Recent Related News:
i.February 2, 2021, Barbara Pompili, French Minister for Ecological Transition made a 5-day visit to India from January 28-February 1, 2021.
ii.On January 7, 2021, Annual India and France Strategic Dialogue 2021 was held in New Delhi.
President – Emmanuel Macron
Capital – Paris
Currency – Euro, CFP franc