New Delhi: President of the Republic of France, Emmanuel Macron accompanied by his wife Brigitte Marie-Claude Macron will be on a State Visit to India from 9-12 March at the invitation of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Cooperation in the Indian Ocean is going to feature prominently during the talks between President Macron and PM Modi. The visit is aimed at strengthening the bilateral economic, political and strategic dimension of this engagement.
Marking two decades of their bilateral strategic partnership, President Macron will be attending the founding ceremony of the International Solar Alliance on Sunday in New Delhi. A solar energy project in Uttar Pradesh will be inaugurated by the President and he’ll also pay a visit to Modi’s parliamentary constituency—Varanasi on Monday. Climate change, energy and renewables will be another aspect of the visit. India is all set to host the first International Solar Alliance conference in New Delhi to seek cheaper technologies and easier sources of funding at the ISA.
The French President will also be meeting with students as well as academics during his stay in India.
France has strong economic and military interests in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR). Two million French citizens reside in the Indian Ocean region and France maintains naval bases in the region to protect its interests.
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.
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 last visit of the French President to India was in January, 2016, when the French President was the Chief Guest at the Republic Day celebrations. The Indian Prime Minister last visited France in June 2017, immediately after President Macron was elected President. The working day of the visit will be Saturday, 10 March 2018.