Dr. Syama Prasad Mookerjee Research Foundation

Salient Points of PM’s address to the Indian community in France

  1. The Prime Minister of India, Mr Narendra Modi, visited France for an official visit at the invitation of the President of the French Republic, Mr Emmanuel Macron, for a Bilateral Summit on 22nd and 23rd August 2019 in Paris and to participate in the G7 Summit, on 25th and 26th August 2019, in Biarritz, under the French presidency of the G7.
  2. India and France became strategic partners in 1998 and this traditional relationship is enduring, trustworthy, like-minded, and all-encompassing. India- France relations are marked by mutual trust between two strategic partners who have always stood by each other. This relationship developed into a structured partnership, both at bilateral level as well as in international bodies. France and India have decided to give a new ambition to this partnership by opening it to new areas of cooperation.
  3. Both Sides noted that there has been positive progress in the development of bilateral trade and economic relations between their countries. They reaffirmed that the India-France Administrative Economic and Trade Committee (AETC) provides an appropriate framework to assess and find ways to further promote the bilateral trade and investment as well as to speed up the resolution of market access issues to the benefit of economic operators. In this regard, it was decided to further jointly strengthen work on solving trade and investment issues of concern for the French and Indian companies, including by additional ways and mechanisms. Leaders jointly agreed that the high-level France-India economic and financial dialogue should be reactivated as quickly as possible.
  4. Directly in line with the Joint Vision adopted during the State Visit to India of President Macron in March 2018, France and India desire to deepen their space cooperation so as to meet new challenges together, whether it concerns planetary exploration or human spaceflight. France and India thus welcome the decision to train medical support personnel for Indian astronauts, who will be part of India’s manned space mission by 2022. The training will be carried out in France and in India. The leaders welcomed signing of an Implementing Arrangement for establishment of a framework for the realization of joint maritime domain awareness mission. They also hailed the launch of a Space Climate Observatory that further enhances Indo-French cooperation on combating climate change, besides TRISHNA joint mission and accommodating Argos in Oceansat 3. In an increasingly threatened environment, they have also resolved to act together at the international level to promote norms and best practices necessary for guaranteeing the safety of space missions.
  5. In the digital space, the two countries support economic and social development through an open, secure and peaceful cyberspace, in which the international law applies. To this end, the two leaders have adopted a cybersecurity and digital technology road map aimed at expanding Indo-French bilateral cooperation, particularly in the strategic sectors of high performance computing and Artificial Intelligence, with the target of bringing our start-up ecosystems closer to each other.They further welcomed the signing of the Cooperation Agreement between the Centre for Development of Advanced Computing and Atos aiming at developing the cooperation in the fields of quantum computing, Artificial Intelligence and exascale supercomputing.
  6. The two leaders expressed satisfaction at the progress in negotiations between NPCIL and EDF since the conclusion of the Industrial Way Forward Agreement between the two parties in 2018 for the construction of six nuclear power reactors in India in Jaitapur, Maharashtra. They also noted that discussions are underway on the Techno Commercial Offer and the financing of the project as well as on how to increase localization through manufacturing in India and enhance common understanding on the CLND Act between the two Sides. Both parties reaffirmed that they were resolved to actively pursue discussions for their early conclusion. They also welcomed the extension of the Memorandum of Understanding between the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) and the French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission (CEA) concerning cooperation with the Global Centre for Nuclear Energy Partnership (GCNEP) in January 2019 for another five years, the signing of the Implementing Agreement between the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) and the CEA on the safety of Light Water Reactors (LWR) in September 2018. They also commended the joint partnership in International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactors (ITER) and European Council for Nuclear Research (CERN) projects.
  7. The bilateral cooperation is notably forged on an ambitious partnership in the defence sector. Hailing the success of the 2019 editions of the Varuna naval and the Garuda air exercises, as well as the preparations for the Shakti exercise, which will be held in autumn in India, France and India are determined to further strengthen the cooperation between their armed forces and in this connection are working towards increased interoperability as well as pursuing deliberations to develop joint forces cooperation. The signing of Agreement regarding the Provision of Reciprocal Logistics Support is a manifestation of this endeavour.
  8. Defence industrial cooperation is one of the mainstays of the strategic partnership between India and France. The Prime Minister of India and the President of the French Republic noted with satisfaction the progress made in the implementation of agreements signed, particularly the delivery of the first Rafale combat aircraft from this year. They reaffirmed their commitment to further strengthen cooperation in defence industry field and extended their support to existing and upcoming partnerships between the defence companies of the two countries in the spirit of “Make in India” and for the mutual benefit of both countries. Both sides noted with satisfaction that Indian MSMEs are increasingly becoming part of global supply chains of French Defence and Aerospace OEMs and reaffirmed to give further impetus to this trend. They welcomed the ongoing collaboration between aerospace and defence industrial associations of both countries, SIDM for India and GIFAS for France.
  9. France and India agreed to significantly enhance people-to-people contacts and cultural exchanges. It was agreed to set up a regular dialogue on consular matters, which will facilitate exchange and mobility. Welcoming Indian tourists in each other’s countries is a particular priority – 700 000 Indian tourists visited France in 2018, i.e. 17 % more than in 2017 and more than 250,000 French tourists visited India.
  10. Education is an important area of cooperation. Both Sides expressed satisfaction on the status of student mobility between the two countries, which has been aided by the teaching of French in India and the creation of the network of schools for Excellence in French. The student exchange target of 10,000 set in 2018 will be fulfilled this year itself and therefore both sides decided to enhance the target to 20,000 students by 2025.
  11. They welcomed the holding of the Second Knowledge Summit in Lyon, France, in October 2019. This summit helps structure academic and scientific partnerships with corporate entities on crucial issues, such as aerospace, renewable energy, green chemistry, smart cities, agriculture, marine sciences, and Artificial Intelligence. To enhance their cooperation on Skill Development, France and India signed a Memorandum of Understanding.
  12. The leaders appreciated the strong potential of Indo-French cooperation in the field of culture which will be realised through participation in each other’s major cultural events. It was decided that India will be the Country of Honour for the 2020 edition of Livre Paris, the Paris international book fair; the National Gallery of Modern Art in Delhi will hold the first exhibition in India of French artist Gérard Garouste in January 2020; and the Musée national d’art moderne (Centre Georges Pompidou) will hold a dedicated exhibition of the works of Indian artist Sayed Haider Raza in 2021. India will organise Namasté France, in 2021-2022. The two countries will adopt a Plan of Action by the end of 2019 aimed at enhancing co-produced projects, distribution, and training in the fields of cinema, video games and virtual reality. France and India agreed to cooperate shooting of films in both countries.
  13. Under the framework of their partnership for the planet, France and India reaffirmed their shared commitment to effectively combat climate change and loss of biodiversity.
  14. Acknowledging the need for multi-level action – local, national, regional and global – France and India urged all stakeholders to contribute to the success of the Climate Action Summit convened by the United Nations Secretary General on 23rd September 2019 and to encourage the global efforts towards combating climate change. They reaffirmed their commitment to update their nationally determined contributions in a manner representing a progression beyond the current one and reflecting their highest possible ambition in line with principles of United Nations Framework Conventions on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the Paris Agreement including equity and Common but Differentiated Responsibilities and Respective Capabilities (CBDR-RC).
  15. India and France reaffirmed the importance of fulfilling the commitments under UNFCCC and the Paris Agreementand also urged all developed countries to scale up their contributions to Green Climate Fund in its first replenishment cycle in line with their commitments. Taking into consideration the goals of Paris Agreement and the recent findings of Special Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) on the impact of global warming at 1.5 degree Celsius with reference to pre-industrial levels as well as the IPCC Special Report on climate change and land, India and France, under European Union, will develop by 2020 their long-term strategies for low-GHG emission development, taking into account their Common but Differentiated Responsibilities and Respective Capabilities, in light of different national circumstances, and reflecting the highest possible level of national ambition, in line with Paris Agreement.
  16. Under the framework of the G7 Summit in Biarritz and the United Nations Secretary-General’s Climate Action Summit on 23rd September 2019, France and India will also support new initiatives aimed towards low-GHG development resilient to climate change notably through financial flows alignment with the Paris Agreement objectives and supporting transition towards lower emissions of high emitting industries. The two countries thus commit to working together to encourage the ratification and implementation of the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol on the reduction of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) and promote improved energy efficiency standards in the refrigeration sector, supporting notably the “Biarritz Pledge for Fast Action on Efficient Cooling” as would be adopted. France and India reiterate their commitment made during the G20 Summit to medium term rationalisation and phasing out of Inefficient Fossil Fuel Subsidies, while providing targeted support for the most vulnerable, and together participate in a peer review.
  17. The two countries reaffirmed their joint commitment to accelerate development and deployment of renewable energy. They noted with satisfaction the progress made by the International Solar Alliance so far in capacity building and sharing of best practices to harness solar energy among the member nations. Both countries appreciated the implementation of Payment Security Mechanism (PSM) by Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) and welcomed the progress achieved by the World Bank and the French Development Agency in Solar Risk Mitigation Initiative (SRMI) projects for enhancing investors’ confidence. While welcoming signing of Agreement between NISE and CEA in the field of hydrogen energy, they decided to further deepen their technological cooperation in the field of renewable energy. In line with this decision, India and France, which are contributing to the process of sustainable development of Africa, desired to cooperate to implement joint projects in the continent. Discussions are ongoing for the tripartite projects, particularly on the issues of solar irrigation and rural development in African countries and on developing skills through vocational training to sustain the development of the solar photovoltaic sector in Chad.
  18. In the face of biodiversity erosion, and in line with the Charter on Biodiversity that will be endorsed in the Biarritz G7 Summit, France and India will actively work towards giving an impetus to new international, regional, national and local commitments in view of the major international events of 2020, notably the IUCN World Conservation Congress in Marseille and the COP15 to the Convention on Biological Diversity. Recalling that the successful implementation of the future Global Biodiversity Strategy, contributing to achievement of the three objectives of the Convention, is dependent on resource mobilisation, they desired financial resources commensurate with the challenges, along the lines of the 2012 Hyderabad Target for increasing the flow of international financial resources allocated for biodiversity in developing countries.
  19. India and France agreed that oceans play an important role in combating climate change, preserving biodiversity, and development, and, acknowledging the link between environment and security, decided to enlarge the scope of their maritime cooperation to address these issues. For a sustainable use of marine resources, the Sides will work towards ocean governance, including through coordination in relevant international bodies. Blue Economy and coastal resilience are a common priority for India and France. In this regard, both Sides agreed to explore the potential for collaboration in marine science research for a better understanding of oceans, including the Indian Ocean.
  20. In the run-up to the 14th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification, which will be held from 2nd to 13th September 2019 in New Delhi, and the 25th anniversary of the Convention signed in Paris in June 1994, France and India recalled the urgent necessity of sustainably transforming the use of Mother Earth. They desired to contribute to land restoration measures so as to fight poverty, inequalities and food insecurity on the one hand, and prevent and attenuate climate change and preserve or restore biodiversity. These measures could be based on the recommendations of IPBES special report on land degradation and restoration and its global assessment on biodiversity, as well as the IPCC special report on climate change and land adopted in Geneva in August 2019.
  21. In this spirit, India and France intended to promote the initiative set up by the G7 Environment Ministers in Metz for the development of sustainable networks for supplying agricultural products to combat deforestation, notably from the environmental viewpoint through recognised certifications.
  22. The two leaders reiterated their strong condemnation of terrorism in all its forms and manifestations including cross-border terrorism and terror-related incidents in France and India. Both leadersreaffirmed that terrorism cannot be justified on any grounds whatsoever and it should not be associated with any religion, creed, nationality and ethnicity.
  23. Recalling the joint statement on terrorism adopted by the two countries in January 2016, the two leaders reaffirmed their strong determination to eliminate terrorism wherever it is to be found and urged the international community to strengthen the efforts to counter and prevent terrorist financing. They called upon all UN member countries to implement the UNSC Resolution 2462 on Fighting Terrorist Financing adopted last March 28 and welcomed the organization in Melbourne on November 7-8 of a new “No Money for Terror” International Conference on Fighting Terrorist Financing, which will build on the April 2018 Conference organized in Paris by the French Government and the Paris Agenda. Both the leaders agreed to work for early convening of the Global Conference, proposed by India, to tackle the threat of terrorism around the world.
  24. They also called upon all countries to work together for rooting out terrorist safe havens and infrastructure, disrupting terrorist networks and their financing channels, and halting cross-border movement of terrorists belonging to Al Qaeda, Daesh/ISIS, Jaish-e-Mohammed, Hizbul Mujahideen, Lashkar-e-Tayabba, and their affiliates as well as terrorist groups threatening peace and security in South Asia and the Sahel region.
  25. The two leaders, in addition to pursuing the excellent cooperation between the nodal agencies and the investigation agencies of the two countries, agreed to enhance their operational cooperation and launch fresh efforts to prevent and fight radicalization, especially Online Radicalization.
  26. The two leaders reaffirmed their support for the implementation of the Christchurch Call to Action to eliminate terrorist and violent extremist online content adopted in Paris last May 15. They agreed to strengthen counter-terrorism efforts in Multilateral Fora such as UN, GCTF, FATF, G20 etc. They called upon all UN member countries to implement the UNSC Resolution 1267 and other relevant resolutions designating terrorist entities. The leaders also agreed to work together on early adoption of the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism (CCIT) in the UN.
  27. Based on a shared commitment to maintaining the freedom of navigation, particularly in the Indo-Pacific zone, maritime security cooperation between France and India is a domain of excellence in their strategic partnership. In this regard, France and India welcomed the swift implementation of the conclusions of the Joint Strategic Vision of India-France Cooperation in the Indian Ocean Region, adopted during the State Visit to India of President Macron in March 2018.
  28. For the implementation of the White Shipping agreement, India and France welcome the appointment of a French liaison officer at the Information Fusion Centre – Indian Ocean Region (IFC-IOR) in Gurugram.
  29. France and India intend to coordinate their action at the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) and undertake, along with interested States, a joint project for reinforcing assets for combatting piracy and all kinds of maritime trafficking in the Southern Indian Ocean. France also intends to work concertedly with India at the Indian Ocean Naval Symposium (IONS), over which it will preside from 2020 to 2022.
  30. France and India are democratic societies committed to upholding multilateralism. They believe more than ever before in a reformed, more efficient international system adapted to meet the challenges of the 21stcentury. Hence, France wished to associate India to the G7 Summit so as to better respond to the challenges of digital transformation, the climate emergency and the erosion of biodiversity. France and India call for reform of the United Nations Security Council that would enable India to gain a permanent seat on it. They also reaffirmed their commitment to working expeditiously and constructively, together and with others, towards the modernisation of the World Trade Organization, including in the lead-up to the 12th Ministerial Conference in June 2020. They agreed that updating the rules and improving the functions of the Organisation, with a particular focus on the dispute settlement system, is necessary to bolster the open, fair, transparent and rules-based multilateral trading system which has long been a significant engine of growth and development. They supported the implementation of the G20 Principles for Quality Infrastructure Investment. Further, they cooperate under the Paris Club, the main international forum for restructuring official bilateral debts.
  31. Aware that the European Union brings added value to this bilateral relationship, France and India reaffirmed their determination to deepen the relations between the EU and India on strategic and multilateral issues as well as in trade, investment and innovation.
  32. France and India cooperate actively for international peace and security, including in the regional crises threatening them. They support an inclusive peace and reconciliation process in Afghanistan which is Afghan led, Afghan owned and Afghan controlled, leading to a lasting political solution based on the preservation of the gains, including the constitutional order, human rights, particularly women’s rights and the liberties gained over the past eighteen years. They call for timely holding of Presidential elections; cessation of terrorist violence; and end to terrorist safe havens and sanctuaries for enduring and sustainable peace, security and stability in Afghanistan.
  33. France and India agreed that full compliance with the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) on the Iranian Nuclear Programme and the UN Security Council Resolution 2231 was needed to ensure regional and international peace and security and that current issues need to be resolved peacefully through dialogue, including through efforts towards de-escalation of ongoing tensions.
  34. Expressing satisfaction at the level of the existing engagement, the two sides reaffirmed their commitment to further strengthen their partnership with the objective of arriving at an even more robust, close and complementary relationship including synergising of their approaches towards issues of regional and global importance.