Strong Defense Ties Look Increasingly Futuristic
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Strong Defense Ties Look Increasingly Futuristic

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Strong Defense Ties Look Increasingly Futuristic

Sujith Vasudevan, Managing Editor, 0

India and France are celebrating 25 years of their strategic partnership. Being the first country to enter into an agreement on nuclear energy with India to becoming India’s vendor in Rs.58,891 crore worth Rafale warplanes deal, India and France today are increasingly engaged in new areas of cooperation such as maritime security in the Indo-Pacific region, counter-terrorism, sustainable growth and development among others. Over the past decade, the trade between India and France has been growing steadily. The bilateral trade reached $13.4 billion in 2022-23, a 7.72 percent increase from the previous year. In addition, France currently is the 11th biggest
investor in India, with a total investment of $10.5 billion from April 2000 to March 2023. The trade in goods (excluding military equipment) between the two countries was $12.14 billion from January to December 2021, which was 39.17 percent higher than the same period of the previous year.

With Prime Minister Narendra Modi asserting that defense ties are the basic pillar of India’s bilateral relationship with France, the two countries recently agreed on the construction of three additional submarines and the co-development of fighter jet engines. However, India exported 4,715 commodities to France in FY23. The main products that India sold to France in FY23 were petroleum products ($ 1.29 billion), followed by electrical machinery and equipment ($ 795 million), drug formulations and biologicals ($ 436 million), RMG cotton ($ 411 million), and telecom instruments ($ 264 million). Going forward, India and France have agreed to use the Unified Payments Interface (UPI) in France. France will begin enabling UPI from the Eiffel Tower, which means Indian tourists can now pay in rupees. The bilateral relationship between India and France looks bright in both trade and digital realms.