India and France discuss UN Security Council and reformed multilateralism

India and France have traditionally maintained close and friendly relations.

New Delhi:

India and France held consultations on the UN Security Council on Tuesday and agreed to enhance ongoing cooperation within the multilateral platform on issues of mutual concern, according to the statement issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Prakash Gupta, Joint Secretary (UN-Political) led the Indian delegation, including officials from the Indian Embassy in Paris. Meanwhile, the French delegation was led by Ambassador Fabien Penone, Director of the Department of International Organizations, Human Rights and Francophonie of the Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs (MEAE) of France, as well as other senior officials.

“In line with the India-France strategic partnership, the two sides had an in-depth exchange of views on various thematic and country-specific issues on the agenda of the UN Security Council. The two sides agreed to strengthen their ongoing cooperation within the multilateral platform on issues of mutual interest, including counter-terrorism, United Nations peacekeeping and reformed multilateralism,” the statement read.

The two sides had briefed each other on their priorities during the upcoming French and Indian presidencies of the UNSC in September and December 2022, respectively. They also had discussions on initiatives around the High Level Week of the upcoming 77th session of the United Nations General Assembly in September 2022, the statement added.

India and France have traditionally maintained close and friendly relations. In 1998, the two countries entered into a strategic partnership that is emblematic of their convergence of views on a range of international issues outside of a close and growing bilateral relationship.

The two countries maintain flourishing economic relations. French companies and industry have forged links with the Indian economy and contribute significantly to our goal of becoming an Atmanirbhar Bharat.

There are more than 1000 French companies in India in various sectors such as defence, ITES, consultancy, engineering services, heavy industry, etc. France is the 7th foreign investor in India with a cumulative stock of FDI of 9 billion dollars from April 2, 2000 to December 2020, which represents 2% of total FDI inflows into India.

Although India has a trade surplus, bilateral India-France trade remains well below its potential. During the period April 2018-March 2019, India-France bilateral trade stood at €11.59 billion, India’s exports to France were valued at €6.23 billion while French exports to India amounted to 5.35 billion euros.

The 18th meeting of the Joint Economic Committee, which was held virtually between the two countries on November 27, 2020, led to the signing of a bilateral “fast track mechanism” for investors. The first meetings took place on February 16, 2022 between E/I, Paris and the French Treasury and on February 25, 2022 between the Secretary, DPIIT and the French Ambassador, respectively in Paris and Delhi.

Trade and Industry Minister Shri Piyush Goyal also hosted a virtual conference for French companies in February 2021, during which a dedicated desk was set up by Invest India for investor queries. In recent interactions at the EU level, India has sought an early trade deal, while working towards a full FTA.

(Except for the title, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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