Overview of French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian’s two-day India Visit

On December 14,2018,French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian embarked on a two-day visit to India, holding extensive talks with his Indian counterpart Sushma Swaraj to further boost bilateral ties in key areas besides meeting senior state government officials as well as interacting with Indian and French personalities from the film, television and tourism industries.He concludes his 2 day visit on 15th December 2018.

French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian on two-day visit in IndiaFrench Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian reaches India
On 14th December 2018, Mr Jean-Yves Le Drian, Minister of Europe and Foreign Affairs of France, arrived in New Delhi for an official visit to India.  France and India are also celebrating the 20th anniversary of their strategic partnership this year.

Highlights:

  • On his first day of visit he met Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis in Mumbai and conducted a dialogue with state government officials as well as interacted with Indian and French personalities from the film, television and tourism industries.
  • On 14th December in Mumbai he also conferred the French honour of Knight of the National Order of Merit on renowned producer and Chairman and CEO of the Hyde Park Entertainment Group, Ashok Amritraj while presiding over the closing ceremony of the Second Indo-French Professional Meetings for the Film and Television Industry.
  • On his second day he held delegation level talks with Sushma. He also attended the signing of contract for cooperation between Atos (a European IT services firm headquartered in France) C-DAC for the development of supercomputers in India besides calling on the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi.

India inked mega supercomputer “Bull Sequana” deal with France
On 15th December 2018, the Indian government signed a deal with France-based European Information Technology Corporation Atos to procure supercomputers worth Rs 4,500 crore for academic and research institutions across India.

Keypoints:

  • The contract signed will last for 3 years for designing, building and installing the Bull Sequana, the high-performance supercomputers with a cumulative computing power of more than 10 petaflops in India.
  • The signing ceremony took place in the presence of Mr Jean Yves Le Drian, French Minister of Europe and Foreign Affairs and Shri Ajay Prakash Sawhney, Secretary – Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology.
  • This agreement has been awarded to Atos under the National Supercomputing Mission (NSM), a scheme of Rs.4500 crores spread over seven years, aimed at creating a network of over 70 high-performance supercomputing facilities for various academic and research institutions across India.
  • The delivery of BullSequana supercomputers is expected to start in early 2019.

Meeting With EAM Sushma Swaraj
On 15th December 2018, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj held delegation-level talks with Minister Le Drian in New Delhi. The two sides reviewed the broad gamut of the multi-faceted India-France bilateral relations and exchange views on regional and global issues of mutual interest.

India, France agree to work together in several areas including climate change
On 15th December 2018, India and France held discussions on deepening bilateral strategic partnership through cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region, defence, space and civil nuclear energy sectors.

  • There will also be an exchange of 10,000 students between the two countries by 2020, of which 7500 Indian students already left to pursue their studies in France in 2018.
  • A target to increase the bilateral trade to 15 million euro by 2022 was also discussed.
    The two leaders reviewed the status of the European Pressurized Reactor (EPR) project in Jaitapur, Maharashtra and adopted an action plan to guide the work for the coming months.
  • The EPRs account for a total capacity of almost 10 GW and is significant for India’s aim of producing 40 per cent of its electricity from non-fossil fuels by 2030. This is also in line with commitments made by India ahead of the Paris Climate Conference.
  • The French foreign minister also announced that 700,000 Indian visitors, visited France and it has now become the top European destination for Indian tourists.
  • India and France have decided to launch projects together in Africa, particularly in the area of sustainable development in connection with the International Solar Alliance.

India, France agree to fight terrorism jointly: Sushma Swaraj

  • India and France agreed to fight terrorism jointly decided to deepen their strategic partnership through cooperation in the Indo-Pacific. Civil Nuclear, Defence & security, Space, trade and economic sectors.
  • France Supported India’s bid for a membership of Nuclear Suppliers Group and United Nations Security Council.  

French Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs meet PM of India
On 15th December 2018, the French Foreign Minister called on Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi and briefed the Prime Minister on recent developments in the bilateral relationship, and French perspective on regional and global issues.

About France
♦ Capital: Paris
♦ Currency: Euro, CFP franc
♦ President: Emmanuel Macron