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Overview of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s 2-day visit to France ; Horizon 2047 Adopted

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to France on July 13 and 14 2023

Prime Minister Narendra Modi paid a 2-day official visit to France from 13th to 14th July 2023 at the invitation of H.E. Mr Emmanuel Macron, President of France.
Notably, the year 2023 marked the 25th anniversary of the India – France Strategic Partnership.

  • This visit was an opportunity to chart the course of the partnership for the future across diverse sectors such as strategic, cultural, scientific, academic and economic cooperation.

Note: The diplomatic relations between the two countries was established in 1947, and the upgrading of the partnership to the strategic level was made in 1998, by India’s PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee and France’s President Jacques Chirac which was one of the first for India with any country.


i.On 13th July 2023, PM Modi was conferred with the Grand Cross of the Legion of Honour, the highest French order of Merit(both Civilian and Military). 

ii.During his visit, PM Modi held formal talks with President Macron and also meet with Élisabeth Borne, Prime Minister(PM) of France, Gerard Larcher, President of the French Senate, and the National Assembly of France.

  • PM Modi and President Macron also adopted ambitious outcome documents, “Horizon 2047: Charting the future of India-France Strategic Partnership” during their meeting. 

iii.On 14 July 2023, PM Modi participated as Guest of Honour in the Bastille Day (National Day of the French Republic) Parade at Champs-Élysées, in Paris, France. 

iv.During his visit, PM Modi also interacted with the Indian diaspora in France, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Indian and French companies, and prominent French personalities.

Now, we will discuss the important points from this visit.

Formal talks were held between both leaders: Adopted Horizon 2047 Roadmap

PM Narendra Modi and President Emmanuel Macron met and emphasized the strong and resilient relationship between their countries. They highlighted shared values, sovereignty, and commitment to international law.

  • The leaders discussed progress in various areas of cooperation over 25 years and identified new areas for growth.
  • They stressed collaboration on clean energy, biodiversity, and digital innovation.
  • The partnership focuses on education, science, culture, and people-to-people ties.
  • They aim to uphold international law, promote global cohesion, and address challenges like climate change.

In order to set out their shared vision for this next phase of the India-France Strategic Partnership,  both leaders adopted the ‘Horizon 2047: 25th Anniversary of the India-France Strategic Partnership, Towards A Century of India-France Relations’.

About Horizon 2047:

To mark the 25th anniversary of the Indo-French partnership, both countries agree to adopt a roadmap to set the course for the bilateral relationship up to 2047, which will celebrate the centenary of India’s independence, the centenary of the diplomatic relations between the two countries and 50 years of the strategic partnership.

  • As of now both nations work within the framework of a partnership, as they have done since 1998. In order to further deepen this Strategic Partnership, this communiqué is adopted. Its highlights are given below:

I.Partnership for Security and Sovereignty

i.Both nations will extend their defence cooperation in advanced aeronautical technologies by supporting the joint development of a combat aircraft engine.

ii.They will support industrial cooperation for motorization of heavy-lift helicopters under the Indian Multi Role Helicopter [IMRH] programme with Safran Helicopter Engine, France.

  • To enable progress on the IMRH programme, a Shareholders’ Agreement between Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), India and Safran Helicopter Engine, France has been concluded for engine development.

iii.There is an MoU between Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers Ltd. (GRSE), and Naval Group France, a leader in European Naval Defence Industry to collaborate in the field of surface ship that caters to fulfil the requirement of India and International Naval forces.

iv.Both countries are also working towards adopting a Roadmap on Defence Industrial Cooperation.

v.In view of the uptick in defence industrial collaborations between the two countries, India is setting up a Technical Office of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) at its Embassy in Paris.

vi.Through a unique model of Triangular Development Cooperation, India and France will work on setting up the Indo-Pacific Triangular Cooperation (IPTDC) Fund to support climate and SDG-focused innovations and start-ups from third countries in the Indo-Pacific.

  • The fund aims to scale up green technologies in the region, and project selection will be a joint effort between both countries.

vii.Centre National d’Études Spatiales (CNES- National Center for Space Studies) and Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) will strengthen their partnership on the following :

  • For climate and environment, with the development of the TRISHNA mission and activities within the Space Climate Observatory (SCO) on topics such as water resource management, marine resources and air quality monitoring;
  • For space exploration (Mars, Venus), maritime monitoring, launchers and manned flights in connection with India’s Gaganyaan programme.

viii.India and France strengthen cooperation against terrorism, including operational collaboration and countering online radicalization. NSG and GIGN formalize cooperation. They also collaborate in cyber security and digital technology.

  • There will be formalization of cooperation between the National Security Guard (NSG) of India and the Groupe d’intervention de la Gendarmerie nationale (GIGN) of France through the Letter of Intent between India and France for Cooperation in the field of Counterterrorism.

ix.Both nations strengthen their partnership in science, technology, and academia. They establish a joint strategic committee, focus on digital technology, health, and cyber security, and collaborate in pharmaceuticals and payment systems.

  • It should be noted NPCI International Payments Limited (NIPL) and France’s Lyra Collect executed an agreement to implement Unified Payment Interface (UPI) in France and Europe. The payment mechanism is in its last phase of production and will go live by September 2023 with the Eiffel Tower, Paris as the first merchant in France to accept UPI.

II – Partnership for Planet

i.India and France welcome progress in the Jaitapur Nuclear Power Project and commit to offering sustainable development solutions through initiatives such as the Indo-Pacific Parks Partnership, International Solar Alliance, and Indo-Pacific Oceans Initiative.

ii.They aim to strengthen nuclear training and internships, explore partnerships in modular reactors, and collaborate on the Jules Horowitz Research Reactor.

iii.Both countries are committed to achieving carbon neutrality by 2050 and 2070, respectively.

iv.They will collaborate on building near-zero emission buildings, promote language training, facilitate student exchanges, and expand the Alliances Françaises network.

v.India will open a Consulate General in Marseille, and France has established the “Bureau de France” in Hyderabad, Telangana.

vi.India and France will promote joint training programs and facilitate the creation of an Indian Alumni community. India has invited French universities to set up their campuses in India.

  • France will issue five-year Schengen visas for Indian students who have completed at least one semester at a recognized French university and attained a Master’s degree.
  • France reaffirms its goal of welcoming 20,000 Indian students by 2025 and aims to raise it to 30,000 by 2030.

vii.Both countries aim to have 300 Villa Swagatam laureates by 2035, utilizing a network of residencies to attract top French talents to India.

viii.Both countries also agreed to work on establishing a partnership on low and medium power modular reactors or Small Modular Reactors (SMR) and Advanced Modular Reactors (AMR).

ix.India intends to make France, through its expertise, its companies and the French Development Agency (AFD), its preferred partner in successfully achieving urban transition.

x.Naval Group and India’s Mazgon Dockyard Ltd signed an agreement for the construction of three additional submarines under the P-75 programme

  • This is a part of extension of the Indo-French partnership to explore ambitious submarine projects.


India, France committed to eliminate single use plastic products pollution, intensify maritime cooperation in Indo-Pacific, enhance cooperation in strategic areas, space, science, sustainable development, deepening cooperation in digital public infrastructure, cybersecurity, startup, AI, increase cooperation to end cross-border terrorism.

Click Here for Full Official Document

List of Outcomes: MoUs and Letter of Intents (LoI)

Documents ConcludedType
Institutional Cooperation
LoI between New National Museum and Cooperation on MuseologyLoI
LoI between Prasar Bharati and France Media MondeLoI
Cooperation in the field of Digital Technologies
between MeitY and French Ministry of Economy
Technical Cooperation between Direction-Générale d’Aviation Civile, France and Airports Authority of India in the field of Civil AviationMoU
Agreement between Invest India and Business FranceMoU
Cooperation in the area of Space
India-France joint Earth Observation mission TRISHNA Implementing ArrangementImplementing Arrangement
Maritime Domain Awareness short-term programme Implementing ArrangementImplementing Arrangement
Agreement on Conjunction Analysis and Evaluation Service: Alerts and Recommendations (CAESAR) and use of Exert Modules of JAVA for Assessment of Conjunction (JAC) softwareAgreement
Joint Declaration between ISRO and CNES Concerning Joint Developments in the field of LaunchersJoint Declaration
Scientific Cooperation
LoI between India and France for Cooperation in the field of Health and MedicineLoI
Agreement between the National Institute of Ocean Technology (NIOT), Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES), Chennai and Instiut Français de Recherche pour l’exploitation de la Mer(IFREMER)MoU
Cooperation in Strategic Areas
Head of Agreement (HoA) between Indian Oil Corporation Limited and M/s Total Energies Gas and Power Ltd (Total Energies) to establish a long-term LNG Sale and Purchase Agreement (SPA)Agreement
NSIL and Arianespace intent to collaborate in commercial launch servicesLoI

Click Here for Full List

PM Narendra Modi becomes 1st Indian PM to be conferred with the Grand Cross of the Legion of Honour

PM Narendra Modi has become the first Indian PM to have been conferred with the Grand Cross of the Legion of Honour, France’s highest civilian and military honour, by French President Emmanuel Macron at the Elysee Palace in Paris, France.

About Grand Cross of the Legion of Honour:

i.The Legion of Honour, established by Napoleon Bonaparte in 1802, is divided into five classes: Chevalier (Knight), Officier (Officer), Commandeur (Commander), Grand Officier (Grand Officer), and Grand-croix (Grand Cross).

ii.Features of Grand Cross: The ribbon is red, and the badge features a five-armed Maltese asterisk on an oak and laurel wreath.

iii.While membership is typically restricted to French nationals, foreigners can receive the honor for supporting France or during high-level state.

Awards and honors bestowed on the PM Narendra Modi by other nations, previously:

  • Order of the Nile by Egypt in June 2023
  • Companion of the Order of Logohu by Papua New Guinea in May 2023
  • Companion of the Order of Fiji in May 2023
  • Ebakl Award by the Republic of Palau in May 2023
  • Order of the Druk Gyalpo by Bhutan in 2021
  • Legion of Merit by the US Government in 2020
  • King Hamad Order of the Renaissance by Bahrain in 2019
  • Order of the Distinguished Rule of Nishan Izzuddin by Maldives in 2019
  • St. Andrew Award from Russia in 2019
  • Order of Zayed Award from the UAE in 2019
  • Grand Collar of the State of Palestine Award in 2018
  • State Order of Ghazi Amir Amanullah Khan from Afghanistan in 2016
  • Order of Abdulaziz Al Saud from Saudi Arabia in 2016

PM meeting with meeting with the President of the Senate of France

PM Narendra Modi met Gerard Larcher, President of French Senate where Indian side highlighted the significance of shared values of ‘Democracy, Freedom and Equality’.

  • Their discussions were focused on a areas including India’s G20 (Group of Twenty) priorities, democratic values in technology usage and cooperation between the two Upper Houses.
  • Regional and global issues of mutual interest were also discussed.

Presents exchanged between both the leaders:

i.PM Narendra Modi gifted a ‘sandalwood sitar’ to French President Emmanuel Macron. This unique replica of a musical instrument is an art of sandalwood carving that has been practised in Southern India for centuries.

  • It carries images of Goddess Saraswati, holding the musical instrument called the Sitar (Veena), the Goddess of knowledge, music, art, speech, wisdom, and learning, as well as the image of Lord Ganesha, the remover of obstacles.
  • It is illustrated with peacocks – the national bird of India and embellished with intricate carvings that reflect the myriad motifs from Indian culture.

ii.He gifted a hand-knitted silk Kashmiri carpet was the gift of Modi’s choice for French National Assembly president Yael Braun-Pivet.

iii.He presented a sandalwood hand-carved elephant Ambavari to Gerard Larcher, president of the French Senate.

iv.Pochampally silk ikat in a sandalwood box was presented to France’s First Lady Brigitte Macron by the Indian PM.

  • It has its roots in Pochampally town in Telangana, and renowned for its intricate designs and vibrant colours.

v.Marble inlay work table was presented to French PM Elisabeth Borne. Marble Inlay Work’ showcased intricate artwork done on marble, using semi-precious stones. The base marble is found in Makrana, a town in Rajasthan, famous for high-quality marble.

France’s gift to Indian PM:

i.French President Emmanuel Macron gifted Prime Minister Narendra Modi a framed facsimile of a 1916 photograph of a Parisian presenting flowers to a Sikh officer and a replica of the Charlemagne chessmen, dating back to the 11th Century.

ii.Macron also gifted Modi a series of novels – A la recherche du temps perdu (In Search of Lost Time) – by Marcel Proust published between 1913 and 1927 and considered the most important works of French literature of the early 20th century.

About France:
President– Emmanuel Macron
Prime Minister– Élisabeth Borne
Capital– Paris
Currency– Euro