France-India commit to increasing trade to 15 bn euro by 2020….writes Ranvir Nayar from Paris
The dynamism infused in the Indo-French relations during the visit of French President Emmanuel Macron to India in March seems to be building up as the two countries have committed to raising their bilateral trade from 9 billion euros to 15 billion euros in the next two years official sources said.
Besides this, boosting French investment in India was one of the several issues that Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj discussed with her French counterpart Jean Yves Le Drian on Monday evening during her maiden visit to France.
The French have been keen to significantly enhance their presence in Indian business ecosystem, especially in areas where they have inhouse strengths, notably sustainable development, transport and smart cities.
The two ministers also discussed numerous international issues such as the impact of the decision by US President Donald Trump to withdraw from the Paris Climate Change Treaty as well as the Iran nuclear deal. Regional issues such as terrorism and situation in South Asia and the Indian Ocean region were also discussed.
Swaraj thanked Le Drian on behalf of the Indian government for the unstinted support that France has given to India’s bid to be inducted as a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council as well as the Nuclear Suppliers Group.
The two leaders also exchanged a letter of intent for collaboration in conservation of prehistoric monuments. The first such collaboration will take place in the famous Bhimbetka caves in Swaraj’s native Madhya Pradesh.