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High level of complementarity, trust between India-France, says Indian Ambassador to France

Paris: Indian Ambassador to France Jawed Ashraf on Wednesday said that the relations between India and France are not limited to any specific area. "India and France are strong countries in terms of technology. There is a high level of complementarity and trust between us. The sky is the limit on how much we can work together. India and France share the view of reinvigorating our own industries, to build economies self-reliant on technologies. There are enormous opportunities for cooperation in many areas including the most sensitive areas. Today, French companies are looking at India as an integral part of a global supply chain," the Indian envoy to France said while speaking to ANI. The Ambassador spoke at length with ANI where he explained in detail about the bilateral relations between India and France. Jawed Ashraf said that be it at the UN, in multilateral forums or on international platforms, India and France have always shown a good partnership with each other. He further stated that being a member of the P5 (five permanent members of the UN Security Council), France has always helped India and has always shown cooperation towards India. Speaking on the Indo-Pacific region, the ambassador said, "Indo-Pacific has become a key point for the future of the world. France has its own territories in the Indian Ocean and the Pacific Ocean. In a way, it is a permanent power in the Indo-Pacific. It is a special friend and a special partner to India. When we speak about Indo-Pacific and the future when we speak of security, environment, prosperity and our relation with France plays a huge role." "On a diplomatic level, we are doing a lot of things. We are also working together to help the nations of the world," he added. "Speaking of security and defence, our relations with France are incomparable with any other nation in terms of military exercises, intelligence cooperation, regional activities or defence equipment," Ashraf said. Speaking on space technology, he said that India's space journey started with France in a way. "France is also our main partner in civil nuclear cooperation," the Indian envoy to France said. The envoy said that India's economy and technology is one of the strongest pillars in relations with France. And since 2014, India's economic relations have progressed very fast and have almost doubled. "In the last eight to nine years, investment from France in India has increased very rapidly. The biggest companies in France are present in India. Not only for the Indian market, they are now making India a very important part of their global supply chain in the last few years," the envoy said while speaking of the economic relations between India and France. "India is seen as an export hub. India is also considered a big hub of research, technology and development innovation," he said. "There are many big companies in engineering, design, and development present there (France)," he added. He also said that France can contribute a lot to India's aim of "Atmanirbhar Bharat". He also stated that since France is a global technology power, India can grow rapidly in infrastructure, technology, defence technology, manufacturing or digital technology. The envoy said that whenever there are talks about clean energy, climate change, biodiversity, blue economy, and ocean health, France is the first country that comes to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's mind. "The international solar alliance was a big initiative of the Prime Minister (PM Modi) in 2015. We started this with France and today it has hundred member states. Similarly, we are working in civil energy, nuclear energy. We are working in green hydrogen and there is a lot of investment from France in renewable energy in India," he added. Collaboration between India and France in research and development is also very good. "The Prime Minister (PM Modi) and the (France) President (Emmanuel Macron) are playing a leadership role against plastic pollution. Considering all this, you will feel that there is a big collective relationship and in the end, the most important link between every democratic country is people-to-people ties," he added. In education, science and technology, culture and in all these subjects, India's relations with France are progressing very fast. Regarding museums, Prime Minister lays a lot of emphasis that a world-class museum should be prepared in India, Jawed Ashraf said. "Our cooperation is increasing in these also. Here, on the basis of the efforts of our Prime Minister, the mobility of youth, students and professionals has increased in the last few years," he added “After PM Modi reaches tomorrow, he will meet France Prime Minister Élisabeth Borne and President of French Senate Gérard Larcher on the same day,” Foreign Secretary Vinay Kwatra said earlier in the day. Kwatra said that on Thursday evening, the prime minister will interact with the Indian community which would be followed by a private dinner to be hosted by President Macron at Élysée Palace in honour of the prime minister. The visit’s major ceremonial part will start on Friday wherein the Prime Minister will participate in Bastille Day celebrations. “Major ceremonial part of the visit will start on July 14. PM Modi will participate in the French National Day celebration, Bastille Day. This is a very special gesture extended by France to PM Modi. A large tri-services contingent from India will also participate in the Bastille Day Parade along with three Indian Air Force aircraft, which would also take part in the flypast after the Bastille Day celebrations,” the foreign secretary said.

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