India-France strategic, economic and political ties are set to get further strengthened as President of France Emmanuel Macron visits New Delhi from March 9 to 12 at the invitation of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. He will be accompanied by Mrs. Brigitte Marie-Claude Macron.
The last visit of the French President to India took place in January, 2016, when the French President was the Chief Guest at the Republic Day celebrations. Mr. Modi last visited France in June 2017, immediately after President Macron was elected President. The working day of the visit will be March 10, it was officially announced by the Ministry of External Affairs here on Thursday.
India-France strategic partnership, established in 1998, is one of the most important and comprehensive bilateral engagements and is marked by intense and frequent high level exchanges and deep political understanding.
Both the countries have enhanced and ongoing cooperation in the defence, maritime, space, security, and energy-related sectors, and are increasingly working together on all issues of concern including terrorism, climate change, sustainable growth and development, infrastructure, smart urbanization, S&T cooperation, and youth exchanges. The visit of President Macron is aimed at strengthening the bilateral economic, political and strategic dimension of Indo-France engagement.
Prime Minister Modi and the French President will also co-chair the Founding Conference of the International Solar Alliance, which will take place on March 11.
The bilateral trade between India and France for the period April 2016 to March 2017 reached US$ 10.95 billion. France is the 9th largest foreign investor in India with a cumulative investment of US$ 6.09 billion from April 2000 to October 2017. Close to 1000 French companies are present in India.
About 120 Indian companies have invested in excess of Euro 1 billion in France and employ close to 7000 people. The India-France CEO’s Forum will also take place during the visit. The visit is also aimed at forging not only strong manufacturing and technology partnerships, but also greater people to people contacts especially through greater exchanges of students and researchers.
The Indian community, including NRIs in mainland France number around 1.1 lakh people; largely originating from French enclaves of Puducherry, Karaikal, Yanam, Mahe and Chandernagore.