French President Emmanuel Macron is scheduled to visit India from March 9 to 12 and during which time he will focus on strengthening economic and political ties between the two countries.
Climate change and environment, International Solar Alliance (ISA), maritime security and nuclear cooperation are some of the areas that will be touched upon by both the governments.
Macron will be accompanied by his wife, Brigitte Marie-Claude Macron, during his India visit.
“The visit of President Macron is aimed at strengthening the bilateral economic, political and strategic dimension of our engagement,” the Indian Ministry of External Affairs said in a statement.
“The strategic partnership between India and France, 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,” it added.
“We have enhanced and ongoing cooperation in the defense, maritime, space, security, and energy-related sectors, and are increasingly working together on all issues of concern including terrorism, climate change, sustainable growth and development, infrastructure, smart urbanization, S&T cooperation, and youth exchanges. Macron’s visit is aimed at strengthening the bilateral economic, political and strategic dimension of our engagement.”
France is currently the ninth largest foreign investor in India. According to a 2016 report, French companies were expected to invest more than $10 billion in India in the next five years.
Macron’s other engagements in the country include inaugurating a 75-megawatt solar power plant in Uttar Pradesh’s Mirzapur district, attending the ISA Summit on March 11 and visiting the Banaras Hindu University in Varanasi.
The ISA Summit will see representation from more than 125 countries. At present 21 Heads of States and 4 Heads of Governments have confirmed their attendance, reports indicate.
Macron’s predecessor, Francois Hollande, visited India in January 2016, during which time the two governments signed an agreement for the sale of 36 French fighter jets worth an estimate $9 billion.
France and India also inked deals for cooperation in space technology.