India and France agreed to work in close proximity in line with the Make in India initiatives to address challenges related to space issues, besides having deeper ties in climate change and defence-related matters.
Building on a great tradition of over 60 years of technical and scientific space cooperation, and in order to address the contemporary challenges that have arisen in space, in particular maintaining secure access to space for all, India and France have agreed on setting up a bilateral strategic dialogue on space issues during Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s recent visit to France.
“It will bring together experts from space and defence agencies, administration and specialised ecosystem to discuss security and economic challenges in outer space, the norms and principles applicable to space as well as unveil new areas of cooperation. The two sides agreed to hold the first dialogue this year at the earliest,” the joint statement from the meeting revealed.
During the meeting between Modi and French President Emmanuel Macron, both sides welcomed the ongoing intense cooperation across all defence domains. Joint exercises (Shakti, Varuna, Pegase, Desert Knight, Garuda) illustrate efforts towards better integration and interoperability wherever possible.
Meanwhile, maritime cooperation between India and France has reached new levels of trust and will continue through exercises, exchanges and joint endeavours throughout the Indian Ocean.
India and France underscored that the long-standing armament cooperation is testimony to the mutual trust between the two sides. The six Scorpene submarines built at MDL in Mumbai illustrate the level of transfer of technology from France to India, in line with the “Make in India” initiative.
As seen in the timely delivery of the Rafale despite the pandemic, the two sides enjoy synergy in the field of defence.
Taking forward this momentum, and based on their mutual trust, both sides agreed to find creative ways for France’s deeper involvement in the “Atmanirbhar Bharat” (Self-reliant India) efforts in advanced defence technology, manufacturing and exports, including by encouraging increased industry to industry partnerships.
France to work closely with India on Make in India initiatives in space, defence
— ANI Digital (@ani_digital) May 9, 2022
In an increasingly digitalised world, India and France have strengthened cooperation between their cyber security agencies. Based on a convergent outlook, they agree to join forces in promoting cyber norms and principles in order to counter cyber threats and agree to upgrade their bilateral cyber dialogue with a view to contributing to a peaceful, secure and open cyberspace.
The two sides have launched a number of initiatives to connect their Start-up ecosystems and welcome recent public-private engagement to work together, based on their respective successes, on building standards and protocols for free, inclusive, innovative and open public digital infrastructure and solutions to transform the lives of the people and for the larger global good. India will be the first Country of the Year at this year’s edition of Vivatech, Europe’s largest digital fair, in Paris.
India and France have built one of the premier strategic partnerships for advancing peace, stability and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific region. They share a vision of a free, open and rules-based Indo-Pacific region, based on commitment to international law, respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity, freedom of navigation and a region free from coercion, tensions and conflicts.
Meanwhile, India-Nordic relations are coming of age, during the recent visit of Modi to the 2nd India-Nordic Summit things have started looking brighter than before.
During the Summit, the Prime Ministers pledged to continue to deepen cooperation between the Nordic countries and India and focused their discussions on key issues related to international peace and security, including the conflict in Ukraine, multilateral cooperation, green transition and climate change, the blue economy, innovation and digitalisation. The Prime Ministers reaffirmed the importance of free trade as a driver for achieving inclusive growth and realising the Sustainable Development Goals.
Discussions were also held on cooperation in the maritime sector with a focus on sustainable ocean management. Prime Minister invited Nordic companies for investing in the Blue Economy sector, especially in India’s Sagarmala project.
India’s partnership with the Nordic region in the Arctic Region was discussed. Prime Minister noted that India’s Arctic Policy provides a good framework for the expansion of India-Nordic cooperation in the Arctic region.
Prime Minister Modi invited the sovereign wealth funds of the Nordic countries to invest in India.
India and the Nordic countries affirmed their support for a rules-based international order and for multilateral institutions and their commitment to work towards making them more inclusive, transparent, and accountable with the aim of addressing global challenges more effectively.
This included working towards reform of the United Nations, including of the Security Council, to make it more effective, transparent and accountable, and the reform of the World Trade Organisation, as well as strengthening collaboration on global health issues, including pandemic preparedness and response. The Nordic Countries reiterated their support for India’s Permanent Membership in a reformed and expanded Security Council.
(with inputs from ANI)