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Prime Minister Modi’s two-day visit to France has strengthened the relationship between France and India further despite having many differences.

Historical relations between France and India date back to the 17th century. Over the years, these two countries have been important allies, and their cooperation has been strengthened in many areas, such as defence, security, economy, and culture. Recently, bilateral relations between France and India have gained new momentum, making them major strategic partners. This cooperative dynamic is essential to address common challenges, such as combating terrorism, climate change and promoting peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific region.

This cooperation in the domains of defence, economy, culture, education, and environment demonstrates the commitment of both countries to strengthen their ties and address global challenges together. Through these joint efforts, France and India can build a strong partnership and contribute to a better and more sustainable future. The relations between France and India have experienced significant growth over the years, but there are still untapped opportunities to further strengthen their cooperation. By focusing on key areas, both countries can unlock deeper potential for engagement and mutual benefits.

Defence and Security

France and India have established a strategic partnership in defence and security. The two countries have signed cooperation agreements in arms sales, military training, and counterterrorism. This collaboration enhances the security of both nations and facilitates the exchange of expertise in international security. Information sharing, joint military exercises, and technological partnerships strengthen the defence capabilities of both countries. France and India have already established a strategic partnership in the defence sector, but there are additional opportunities for collaboration. Both nations can explore joint defence production, technology sharing, and research and development initiatives. By leveraging their respective expertise, they can enhance their defence capabilities and contribute to regional security and stability. Collaborative efforts in areas such as cybersecurity, maritime security, and defence innovation can pave the way for increased strategic cooperation.

Economic Ties

Both France and India are major economic players with substantial growth potential. Trade, reciprocal investments, and cooperation in key sectors such as trade, investment, energy, aerospace, space, and information technology contribute to the prosperity of both countries. This economic cooperation creates opportunities for businesses and stimulates sustainable economic growth. Trade exchanges foster bilateral partnerships, facilitate knowledge transfer, and encourage innovation. To strengthen their economic cooperation, both countries can work towards simplifying trade regulations, reducing barriers, and facilitating investment flows. Focusing on sectors such as renewable energy, sustainable infrastructure, digital technology, and healthcare can create new avenues for collaboration and business opportunities. Strengthening trade missions, business delegations, and investment promotion activities will foster closer economic ties and unlock the full potential of their partnership.

Cultural Exchanges and People-to-People Contacts

France and India share a rich cultural heritage and diversity, which form a strong foundation for their cultural and educational cooperation. Exchanges in the fields of culture, education, and higher education strengthen the ties between the two countries and foster better mutual understanding. Student exchange programs, teacher exchanges, and artistic collaborations promote intercultural dialogue and contribute to knowledge enrichment. They also establish lasting links between educational institutions in both countries. Cultural exchanges play a crucial role in building bridges between nations. France and India can strengthen their cultural ties through increased collaboration. Increased participation in art exhibitions, film festivals, and cultural performances will promote cultural diversity and mutual understanding. Encouraging academic and research collaborations in cultural studies, language, and literature will deepen knowledge exchange and foster intercultural dialogue. Furthermore, by developing tourism, educational exchanges, and scholarship programs, greater interaction between people will be facilitated, contributing to the creation of lasting relationships.

Climate Change and SDG

France and India both face the challenges of climate change and share a common interest in environmental protection. Their cooperation aims to develop environmentally friendly technologies, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and mitigate the adverse effects of climate change. Together, they undertake research and innovation projects to build a sustainable future. They emphasize the development of clean energy sources, the promotion of sustainable practices, and the adoption of measures for climate change adaptation. Cooperation in the field of environment facilitates the exchange of scientific and technological knowledge, as well as the establishment of effective policies and regulations. By collaborating on climate action and sustainable development, they can demonstrate their commitment to a greener future. Sharing best practices, technological advancements, and research findings in renewable energy, climate resilience, and green infrastructure will strengthen their joint efforts in combating climate change. Joint research initiatives, knowledge-sharing platforms, and capacity-building programs can be established. Together, they can contribute to global efforts to achieve climate goals and create a more sustainable world.


France and India have forged a strong partnership based on mutual respect and shared values. By seizing opportunities for growth in strategic defence cooperation, economic ties, cultural exchanges, and collaborative efforts on climate change, both countries can deepen their bilateral relations. Emphasizing these areas of improvement will not only contribute to their own prosperity but also foster regional stability and global cooperation.

The commitment to strengthening cooperation and addressing common challenges paves the way for a brighter future. France and India have the potential to become exemplary partners, inspiring other nations to embrace collaboration for shared growth, peace, and sustainable development. As they continue to explore new avenues of cooperation, their partnership will flourish, benefiting both countries and the global community.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed by the author do not necessarily reflect the views of the Government of India and Defence Research and Studies

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By William Favre

William Favre is a researcher in international relations of Asia with a focus on Korean studies, graduated from Seoul National University