Indo -French Cooperation

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Context:

France was the first country in the West with which India established a strategic partnership and the first with which India initiated a strategic dialogue after our 1998 nuclear tests when France refrained from imposing sanctions on us and at the same time leaders from no other country have been honoured as many times as chief guests at India’s Republic Day celebrations. 

Other Key Facts:

  • Aimed at countering China’s growing presence in the region.
  • ndia and France by challenging the geopolitical power structure configured around fossil-fuel energy resources are proposing an alternative leadership model for the less developed world,.

  • Mr. Modi and Mr. Macron declared they would ensure cheaper solar energy and increase avenues for financing and Mr. Macron asserted that $1 trillion is needed to reach the ISA goals by 2030: India and France have so far committed $1.4 billion and $1.3 billion, respectively.

  • Recommitment to starting the Jaitapur nuclear power plant.
  • Joint ventures on climate change cooperation are reactions to the U.S. abdicating its role by announcing its pullout from the Paris accord.
  • The “reciprocal logistics support” agreement and this agreement has seen less opposition compared to INDO-US LEMOA, which was passed in a very compromised manner and after a much longer negotiation.
  • In order to widen the scope of confidentiality of high technology exchanges including in the defence procurement the respective agreement has taken place.
  • India’s solar power tariffs stand at about ₹2.40 a unit and there is little scope to make the domestic industry profitable due the high cost of solar panels and other components.

  • At the same time, more thermal power, for which tariffs are higher but which is less fickle than solar or wind power, is being produced than the demand.

  • France’s nuclear power story is a success, but negotiations over Jaitpur Plant between EDF and NPCIL made very slow progress.

  • The deadline to start the construction have been missed multiple times, while in the latest agreement the two countries have committed to start construction by end-2018.

  • Much will depend on how closely the Indian and French navies and intelligence work together in the future, bilateral cooperation in the Indian Ocean Region seems more symbolic than substantive today.

  • Macron is committed to help China on Belt and Road initiative which is opposite of India’s stand on the issue.

  • France has better manufacturing technologies which has minimal impact on environment the same can be transferred to India, since India has also serve its green energy commitments.

  • The Protectionist approach by Trump Administration and BREXIT showcase an opportunity for better Indo- French economic & military ties.

Way Forward:

  • India and France have numerous strategic convergences as two pluralistic democracies (oldest (France) and biggest (India) democracy) with belief in a multipolar world order. Since, Indian and French enjoy a good friendship and we need to transform this friendship into the business.

Source:TH