India and World – France

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India and World – France


Nuclear Cooperation

  • In next section

Defence Cooperation

  • Joint exercise of the Indo-French Air Force Garuda-IV held in June 2010 in Istres
  • India has purchased French Mirage 2000 fighter aircraft and the Scorpene class submarines
  • Rafale fighter jet is in the MMCRA competition bid

Economic Cooperation

  • France is India’s 5th largest trading partner among EU nations
  • Sarkozy recently announced that French companies would invest nearly 12 bn euro in India by 2012
  • FICCI and MEDEFI have signed an MoU to strengthen communication and cooperation between the two key organisations
  • Third meeting of the Indo-French CEO’s forum was held in New Delhi in 2010

Civilian Space Cooperation

  • ISRO and CNES joint working group meet regularly
  • They are working together on scientific satellite programme called Megha Tropiques and SARAL (Satellite for ARGOS and ALTIKA) scheduled to be launched in 2011.
  • GSAT 8 was launched from Arianspace in May 2011.

Educational Cooperation

  • France is collaborating with IIT-Rajasthan
  • Strong cooperation shown between ICMR and INSERM for medical research
  • France promoting seminars and student exchanges

International Issues cooperation

  • France supports India’s bid for UNSC permanent seat
  • Both are members of G20.
  • Cooperation in countering financing of terrorism, money laundering

Cultural Exchange

  • Indo-French Cultural Exchange Programme (CEP)
  • In 2010 and 2011 the Embassy is in the process of organising India-focuseds events in France
  • France launched a cultural festival ‘Bonjour India’ in seven Indian cities in Nov. 2009
  • Indian cultural festival in France, ‘Namaste France’ launched in April 2010 will go on till mid 2011.


  • Carla Bruni’s work as ambassador for the Global Fund which is engaged in the fight against HIV AIDS, TB and malaria is appreciated by Indians

Indian Diaspora in France


  • Relationship based on congruence of views and interests

Nicolas Sarkozy’s visit to India in December 2010


The following agreements were signed

  • Nuclear Cooperation
    • General Framework Agreement between NPCIL and AREVA for setting up two European Pressurised Reactor units at Jaitapur site, Maharashtra
    • Early Works Agreement between NPCIL and AREVA for implementation of EPR NPP units at Jaitapur
    • Protection of confidentiality of technical data and information relating to cooperation in the peaceful uses of nuclear energy
    • Agreement between Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) and French CEA in the field of nuclear science and technology for peaceful uses of nuclear energy
    • Agreement concerning Intellectual Property Rights on the development of the peaceful uses of nuclear energy
    • Two agreements on nuclear safety were also signed: first between Atomic Energy Regulatory Board and French Nuclear Safety Authority. Second between AERB and Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety (IRSN)
  • MoU between ISRO and CNEc for cooperation in Earth System Science and Climate
  • Agreement on film co-production
  • After the Fukushima disaster France has launched a process of stress tests on all its nuclear installations. India has put on hold the deal on buying EPRs


France established diplomatic relations with the newly-independent India in 1947. Both nations negotiated the peaceful transfer of Pondicherry and the other enclaves to India, which was completed by 1954. France has helped India in its nuclear growth by, for instance, offering to help India develop its breeder program in 1969, supplying nuclear fuel to the Tarapur I and II reactors (after the US reneged on its contractual obligation to supply uranium fuel for the Tarapur reactors), setting up a thorium extraction facility at Alwaye in Kerala, and a Heavy Water plant at Baroda in Gujarat. France, along with Israel and Russia, were the only countries in the world which did not condemn India’s 1998 nuclear tests.

At present Indo-French co-operation lies on three pillars – defence, academic exchanges and co-operation in science and technology. In spite of immense opportunities in each other’s economy, bilateral trade in 2006-07 was quite nominal. It is evident that economic and trade engagement needs a significant boost.

High Profile Visits:

  1. 1998 French PresidentJacques Chirac made a high-profile visit to India:
  • establishment of the strategic partnership
  1. 2008 visit by Sarkozy:
  • Framework Agreement for Civil Nuclear Co-operation” in January 2008
  1. During the Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s visit to France after India’s waiver from theNuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), both nations signed an agreement that would pave the way for the sale of French-made nuclear reactors to India on September 30, 2008.

Positive Aspects:

  1. Good Political Relationship (UNSC membership, Pokhran 1998)
  2. Strong Defence ties (supplier of military hardware):
  • Upgrading Mirage 2000 fighter aircraft
  • 2007 missile co-development project to manufacture a new range of Short Range Surface to Air Missiles (SRSAM) Maitri
  • Kaveri engine for LCA Tejas co-development
  • 2005 defence deal to acquire technology to build Scorpene nuclear submarines
  • Naval excersices Varuna and Air excersices Garuda
  • Piracy in Gulf of Aden
  • Joint Working Group on Counter-Terrorism
  1. Space Cooperation:
  • SARAL (Satellite for ALTIKA and ARGOS) for studying ocean from space using altimetry. CNES provides a radar altimeter instrument called ALTIKA and an onboard relay instrument for the international ARGOS data collection system, while, ISRO provides the satellite platform, launch and operations.
  • Megha-Tropiques– planned mission to study thewater cycle in the tropical atmosphere in the context of climate change
  • 2005 deal between Antrix and Astrium for joint development and marketing of communication satellites.
  • Arianespance launching facilities for INSAT
  1. Mining Sector, IT sector coop
  2. French investment in Infrastruc: roads and rail
  3. French brands in Ind Consumer market
  4. India’s soft power: fashion, cinema
  5. Areva deal: 300 tonnes of enriched U, 6 EPR by 2020, development of nuclear parks; Civil Nuclear Coop Agreement, 2008 allows for reprocessing of spent fuel, lifetime supply of nuclear fuel, doesn’t bar the transfer of ENR technology (unconditional reprocessing rights both from Russ and France unlike the US deal which requires a special amendment)
  6. Two Nuclear safety pacts between AERB and ASN- technical info exchange, cooperation in regulation of nuclear safety, radiation protection
  7. Franco-Indian Centre for Advance Research, 1986
  8. CEOs Forum
  9. Social Security benefit agreement
  10. MoU on IPR issues
  11. France expressed support for including India in an expanded G-8

Bilateral Trade:

France is India’s 5th largest trading partner in the EU (after the UK, Belgium, Germany and Italy).Both states have aimed to increase bilateral trade from 57. billion euros to 12 billion euros by 2012.

French exports to India include electrical equipment, organic chemical products, aeronautical & space construction products, mechanical equipment, general & special usage machines, and pharmaceutical products.

Indian exports to France consist of both a)traditional items such as garments, leather, textiles, raw cotton and yarn, and marine products, and b) non-traditional items such as automotive components, electronic and rubber components, chemicals and dye-stuffs, pharmaceuticals, granite, and consumer durables are showing promising growth.

India’s presence in France is far from being significant. India doesn’t emerge in the list of top 10 investing countries in France. Indian exports of software services to France are still at a low level. Therefore, a huge potential market remains open for the Indian software industry.


Key sectors of interest to France include power, hydrocarbons (petroleum and petroleum products), telecommunications, auto parts, agro-industries, drugs and pharmaceuticals and environment.

Increasing presence of French Companies in Indian IT market, consumer goods sector

In mines, the cooperation between India and France is one of the most longstanding one and active within the bilateral cooperation.

France has also invested in India’s infrastructure primarily in roads and railways. In the road sector, France appears to have a pioneering experience in India with the widening of the road network to 4-lane (60 km pathway between Delhi and Jaipur) executed by the big French company GTME in 1997.

In railways, the high participation of French companies to the Delhi Metro project e-Transaction group (smart card ticketing ),(signalling and control & security system),(engineering on electrification and maintenance systems

Economic aid: The Financial Protocol is the chief instrument of such assistance

PPl-PPl relations:

  • 60000 Indians
  • Social Security Agreement
  • Cultural Exchange Prog 2007-10 under Agreemt on Cul, Scf and Tech Coop
  • Eminent French civilian awards to Satyajit Ray, Goverdhan Mehta, Mahasweta Devi, Bacchhan



  • Trade and investment
  • Nuc E- not just fuel and reactors but also expertise
  • FDI in retail would provide enourmous dividend to Fr retail giants
  • Fr agricultural expertise- post harvest, cold storage, fertilizer, food processing, BT, river erosion
  • Ind progress in pharma and chems


A key obstacle to the nuclear agreement was India’s recently approved Civil Nuclear Liability Act.

Easing of visa regulations for Indian businessmen and facilitating easy work permits for skilled Indian workers.

However, India has objected to France’s military assistance to Pakistan.

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