France and India agree to deepen cooperation

India – Joint statement by M. Emmanuel Macron, President of the Republic, and Mr Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of India

Paris, 4 May 2022

1. President of the French Republic M. Emmanuel Macron hosted Prime Minister of India Shri Narendra Modi, on a working visit to Paris on 4 May 2022.

2. France and India have been strategic partners since 1998. The strategic partnership is anchored on the solid bedrock of deep and consistent mutual trust, abiding faith in strategic autonomy, unwavering commitment to international law; and belief in a multipolar world shaped by reformed and effective multilateralism. Both are committed to the shared values of democracy, fundamental freedoms, rule of law and respect for human rights.

3. In a post-pandemic word, facing global geopolitical challenges, France and India reaffirmed their commitment to prepare for the future together by further deepening their cooperation, expanding it in new domains to meet emerging challenges and broadening their international partnership.

The Indo-Pacific Region

4. France and India 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 international law, respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity, freedom of navigation and a region free from coercion, tensions and conflicts.

5. France-India Indo-Pacific partnership encompasses defence and security, trade, investment, connectivity, health and sustainability. Besides bilateral cooperation, India and France will continue to develop new partnerships in various formats with like-minded countries in the region and within regional organizations. The first Indo-Pacific Ministerial Forum held in Paris in February 2022 during the French presidency of the Council of the EU launched an ambitious agenda at the EU level based on the EU Strategy for Cooperation in the Indo-Pacific.

6. France and India reaffirmed their commitment to deepen India-EU Strategic Partnership and look forward to closely work together in the implementation of the India-EU Connectivity Partnership and the decisions made at the India-EU Leaders’ Meeting in Porto in May 2021. They welcomed the recent launch of the India-EU Trade and Technology Council that will foster high-level coordination on strategic aspects of trade, technology and security as well as the restart of negotiations on EU-India Agreements on Trade, Investment and Geographical Indicators.

Ukraine

7. France reiterates its strong condemnation of the unlawful and unprovoked aggression against Ukraine by Russian Forces.

8. France and India expressed serious concern at the ongoing conflict and humanitarian crisis in Ukraine. They unequivocally condemned civilian deaths in Ukraine and called for an immediate cessation of hostilities to bring parties together to promote dialogue and diplomacy to find an immediate end to the suffering of the people. Both countries underlined the need to respect UN Charter, international law and the sovereignty and territorial integrity of States. The two leaders discussed the regional and global implications of the conflict in Ukraine and agreed to intensify coordination on the issue.

9. France and India express deep concern about the current aggravation of global food security and nutrition, already impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, and especially in developing countries. They are committed to enabling a coordinated, multilateral response to address the risk of aggravated food crisis because of the conflict in Ukraine, including through initiatives such as the Food and Agriculture Resilience Mission (FARM), which aims at ensuring well functioning markets, solidarity and long term resilience.

Afghanistan

10. On Afghanistan, France and India expressed serious concern on the humanitarian situation and violation of human rights and reiterated strong support for a peaceful, secure and stable Afghanistan, emphasizing respect for its sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity and non-interference in its internal affairs. They called for an inclusive and representative government, and respect for the rights of women, children and minorities. They also reaffirmed the UNSC Resolution 2593 (2021) and emphasized on zero tolerance for the use of Afghan territory for spreading terrorism in other parts of the world, and agreed to work together in this regard, including at the UN Security Council.

Strategic cooperation

11. 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 France and India has reached new levels of trust and will continue through exercises, exchanges and joint endeavours throughout the Indian Ocean.

12. France and India 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 illustrates 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 through encouraging increased industry to industry partnerships.

13. 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 a secure access to space for all, France and India have agreed on setting up a bilateral strategic dialogue on space issues. It will bring together experts from space and defence agencies, administration and specialized 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.

14. In an increasingly digitalized world, France and India have strengthened cooperation between their cyber security agencies. Based on 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.

15. 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.

16. Building upon the implementation of the Franco-Indian roadmap on cybersecurity and digital technology, India and France reiterate their willingness to deepen their cooperation on exascale technology, based upon the fruitful collaboration between C-DAC and ATOS, which includes making supercomputers in India. The two sides also agree to work together for more secure and sovereign 5G/6G telecom systems.

17. Both sides reaffirmed the commitment to the success of the strategic Jaitapur EPR project for access to reliable, affordable and low-carbon energy, and welcome the progress achieved over the last months. They will increase the contacts in the coming months to achieve new progress.

18. Counter-terrorism cooperation is a corner stone of the France-India strategic partnership, particularly in the Indo-Pacific region. They strongly condemned all forms of terrorism including use of terrorist proxies and cross-border terrorism. They reiterated their resolve to closely work together in the common fight against global terrorism including through combating the financing of terrorism, countering radicalization and violent extremism, preventing misuse of the internet for terrorist or violent extremist purpose, acting against internationally designated entities and individuals. Both sides expressed their willingness to coordinate actively in the run up to the third edition of the “No Money for Terror” international conference to be hosted by India in 2022.

Climate, Clean Energy and Sustainable Development

19. Seven years after the adoption of the Paris Agreement and the joint launch of the International Solar Alliance, India and France’s commitment to tackle climate change is stronger than ever, both on mitigation and adaptation. As renewable energy development is one of the key solutions for this transition, France and India reiterate their continued support to the objectives of the International Solar Alliance. France and India also agreed to explore opportunities to jointly work on just energy transition pathways including under G7 to accelerate the deployment of renewables and access to affordable and sustainable energy. Going a step forward in this commitment to clean energy, India invited France to participate in its initiative to make India a Green Hydrogen Hub under its National Hydrogen Mission. Both sides are eager to foster cooperation on decarbonized hydrogen, including on aspects related to regulation, certification and standardization of such hydrogen in order to build robust industrial partnerships and agreed to soon finalize a road map to take forward this cooperation. Both sides will work together to set up industrial partnerships to reinforce their own solar energy production capacities in order to supply Asian and European markets, with an integrated supply chain.

20. France and India welcomed the efforts made by AFD and India Exim Bank to step up their support to sustainable finance in the Indo-Pacific region and agreed to intensify their cooperation in this area. The Indo-Pacific Parks Partnership adopted in February this year displays both sides’ common ambition to promote a sustainable approach in the Indo-Pacific region through the development of protected areas and natural parks.

21. France and India’s common ambition to fight against plastic pollution has been key to UNEA’s recent progress and decision to launch negotiations on a legally-binding international agreement on plastic pollution addressing the full life-cycle of plastics. India and France will continue to jointly promote the adoption of a strong and ambitious legally binding instrument to end plastic pollution, while respecting the principle of national circumstances and capability in taking actions to address plastic pollution. Both sides also called for immediate collective voluntary actions by countries to tackle plastic pollution on an urgent and continual basis.

22. France and India welcomed France’s commitment to India’s sustainable urban development, biodiversity, energy transition and other climate-related projects through the AFD group and other agencies.

23. France and India expressed satisfaction at the adoption of the bilateral road map on Blue Economy and Ocean Governance and committed to accelerating its implementation.

24. France and India will jointly support progress of the intergovernmental conference on an international legally binding instrument under the UNCLOS on the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity of areas beyond national jurisdiction (BBNJ), a key step to ensure protection of the high seas.

25. Both sides agreed to maintain a strong coordination in the framework of the G20. France reiterated its steadfast support for India’s bid for a permanent membership of the UN Security Council as well as membership in the Nuclear Suppliers Group.

Cultural cooperation

26. France and India are fully committed to pursuing the implementation of the Partnership Agreement on Migration and Mobility, which entered into force on 1 October 2021. Both sides will continue to work jointly to increase the mobility of students, graduates, professionals and skilled workers while strengthening their efforts to combat irregular migration. Recognizing the benefit of bilateral student mobility, France maintains the objective of 20,000 Indian students by 2025, which will create opportunities for new businesses, start-ups and innovation between the two countries.

27. The mutual interest in arts and culture has significantly grown, and artists from our two countries are more and more eager to collaborate around projects such as festivals and residences. The 75th anniversary of the independence of India is being celebrated since March 2022 through the Bonjour India festival, with a series of events throughout India. For its part, India is organizing the Namaste France festival. India was the guest of honour at the Paris Book Festival 2022 and France will be the guest of honour at the next New Delhi World Book Fair.

28. Following the letter of intent on museum and heritage cooperation signed on 28 January 2020, India and France will explore the possibilities and mechanism for France to be a “knowledge partner” in the creation of a new National Museum in Delhi.

29. Prime Minister Modi invited President Macron to visit India at his earliest convenience to hold detailed discussions on the areas of cooperation outlined during the visit and to finalize the modalities of realising the goals thus identified./.

Published on 09/05/2022

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