France eyes Make in India ties in defence, space

India and France agreed to work in close proximity in line with the Make in India initiatives to address challenges related to space issues, besides having deeper ties in climate change and defence-related matters.

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 secure access to space for all, India and France have agreed on setting up a bilateral strategic dialogue on space issues during Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's recent visit to France.

"It will bring together experts from space and defence agencies, administration and specialised 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," the joint statement from the meeting revealed.

During the meeting between Modi and French President Emmanuel Macron, 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 India and France has reached new levels of trust and will continue through exercises, exchanges and joint endeavours throughout the Indian Ocean.

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 by encouraging increased industry to industry partnerships.

In an increasingly digitalised world, India and France have strengthened cooperation between their cyber security agencies.

The two sides have launched a number of initiatives to connect their Start-up ecosystems and welcome recent public-private engagement to work together. India will be the first Country of the Year at this year's edition of Vivatech, Europe's largest digital fair, in Paris.


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