State visit to India
At the invitation of the Prime Minister of India, the President of the French Republic paid a working visit to India from 4 to 7 December, 2010. Mr Nicolas Sarkozy and Dr Manmohan Singh had detailed and useful discussions on bilateral, regional and international issues of mutual interest.
Reaffirming their shared vision and values inspired by multilateralism, justice, freedom, equality and fraternity, France and India reiterated their determination and confirmed their commitment to work together towards peace and global security.
As the Strategic Partnership between France and India enters its 12th year, the French President and the Prime Minister of India, recognizing India’s growing role on the international stage, have shown their determination to give a new impetus to the Indo-French Strategic Partnership.
1. Global and regional challenges
France and India would like to work together to make the G20 as effective as possible and help it find its place within an international system that will better reflect today’s world and challenges. Monetary instability, major macroeconomic imbalances, volatility of the price of commodities including agricultural food products, development gap especially infrastructure and lack of food security are tangible threats which our two countries refuse to ignore. The G20 has become and must remain the premier forum for international economic cooperation with a view to laying new foundations for strong, sustainable and balanced growth and the international economic system. In respect of multilateral trade, the two countries are looking forward to the ambitious, comprehensive and balanced conclusion of the Doha Development Round of Negotiations in 2011.
India and France reiterated the need for in-depth reform of the United Nations, including of its Security Council, to make it more representative of today’s world. France reaffirmed its support for India to become a permanent member of an expanded Security Council without further delay.
With the French Presidency of the G20 which has just started, India’s dual participation in the G20 and the Security Council for the 2010/2011 timeframe present an historic opportunity to step up joint work in these two bodies. Both countries will look to all members and groupings, including G20, to make clear support for reform of the Security Council.
France and India reaffirm their wish to continue and expand their dialogue and concrete cooperation in multilateral bodies, especially in UNSC during the 2011-2012 biennum, so as to address threats such as regional crises, terrorism, climate change and proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and their delivery systems, as well as to promote arms control and global disarmament.
International Terrorism is a common threat that needs to be countered jointly. Today, it has become one of the core issues in our bilateral strategic cooperation. International cross-border terrorism needs to be addressed at the global multilateral level by supporting initiatives in the framework of the United Nations such as the draft Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism. We need to work together in international bodies like the FATF to counter financing of terrorism and money laundering.
France and India reaffirm their determination to work for peace, democracy and development in Afghanistan. The French President and the Indian Prime Minister welcome their countries’ contribution and efforts towards the reconstruction and security of Afghanistan. The two countries underline the need for adequate development of the Afghan National Security Forces to enable Afghanistan to defend its sovereignty and independence.
They expressed concern at the continuing existence of safe havens and sanctuaries for terrorist groups beyond Afghanistan’s borders and resurgence of terrorist groups. They agree that terrorism must be combated firmly by the international community. The two countries call on the neighbours of Afghanistan to play a constructive role conducive to the country’s stabilization and development in its regional environment.
India and France have pledged to enhance cooperation at bilateral and global level to effectively address climate change. The two countries have decided to pursue this objective by working to achieve ambitious outcomes in Cancún in the form of balanced operational decisions on mandated issues in accordance with the Bali Road Map. France and India have also reaffirmed their determination to continue to work in the framework of the bilateral working group on environment established in 2008 which is to convene in Paris in the first quarter of 2011.
Recognizing India’s non-proliferation record as well as its willingness to further contribute to global non-proliferation efforts and with a view to enhancing the international non-proliferation regime, France favours and will jointly work with India towards India’s increased participation with international non proliferation initiatives and full membership of multilateral export control regimes NSG, MTCR, AG, WA in a manner consistent with procedures and objectives of these groups.
In the context of their shared commitment to universal and general disarmament and to the reinforcement of the non-proliferation regime, India and France affirm the need for a meaningful dialogue among all states possessing nuclear weapons, in particular those holding the largest arsenals, to build trust and confidence and promote international stability, peace and security. They support international cooperative efforts to reduce the risk of terrorists acquiring nuclear weapons or material. The two countries reiterate their support to starting immediate negotiations in the Conference of Disarmament for a multilateral treaty banning the production of fissile material for use in nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices.
France and India reaffirmed their commitment to diplomacy to resolve the Iranian nuclear issue, and discussed the need for Iran to take constructive and immediate steps to meet its obligations to the IAEA and the UN Security Council.
India and France also expressed concern about the situation in the Korean peninsula and urged DPRK to comply with UNSC and IAEA BoG resolutions.
France and India will continue to support the development of relations between the EU and India more so when India and EU are enhancing cooperation as reflected in the deepening of the strategic relationship as well as the entry of the Lisbon Treaty into Force. The two countries welcome the holding of the EU-India Summit on 10 December 2010 in Brussels and call for renewed efforts to achieve the mutually beneficial conclusion of the EU-India Broad-based Trade and Investment Agreement.
2. Indo-French Strategic Partnership
Civil nuclear energy
The two States welcome the entry into force on 14 January 2010 of the India-France Cooperation Agreement on the Development of Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy and the signing of Agreements on the protection of Confidentiality of Technical data and information relating to cooperation in the peaceful uses of nuclear energy, and concerning intellectual property rights on the development of the peaceful uses of nuclear energy which supplement it.
Noting the innovative, broad-based and dynamic nature of their partnership in the field of civil nuclear energy cooperation, France and India welcome the progress towards further strengthening cooperation between the two countries including in research and development and in setting up joint nuclear power projects. In this context the signing of the General Framework Agreement between NPCIL and AREVA represents a significant milestone.
Following India’s enactment of a civil nuclear liability legislation, both countries stand ready to further exchange views on this issue so as to ensure the appropriate framework for the sound development of their cooperation.
The “Commissariat à l’Energie Atomique et aux Energies Alternatives – CEA” for France and the “Department of Atomic Energy – DAE” for India have concluded on 6 December a Cooperation Agreement in the field of Nuclear Science and Technology for peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy with the aim to establish a general framework to enhance their collaboration and signed a specific implementing agreement in the field of education and research.
The CEA expressed its interest in cooperating with India’s Global Centre for Nuclear Energy Partnership (GCNEP), as a means to contributing to multilateral cooperative efforts to promote peaceful uses of nuclear energy.
The fight against terrorism
Terrorism strikes not only the people and the interests of our two countries but also imperils peace and stability of our respective regions and the world. We reaffirm our irrevocable condemnation of this scourge in all its forms and our will to intensify our cooperation to counter it.
Since our Joint Statement of 25 January 2008, we have aimed at intensifying bilateral consultations and exchanges with the objective of better assessing these threats and sharing relevant information. Today, we have decided to make this cooperation a priority of the Indo-French security relationship.
With the tragic losses suffered in the November 2008 terrorist attacks in Mumbai particularly in mind, we call for the active prosecution of the authors of such crimes and their accomplices, and urge that they be brought to justice expeditiously.
In our common fight against terrorism, we will continue to enhance our operational cooperation as far as possible and will seek to ensure that the widest possible measure of mutual legal assistance is rendered, and that extradition requests are processed expeditiously.
Our two governments will coordinate their endeavours in international bodies such as the Financial Action Task Force in order to define common positions and promote concrete initiatives.
In the pursuance of our efforts to strengthen the international legal framework against terrorism, we resolve to intensify our efforts to urgently conclude the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism at the United Nations. France and India call on all countries to become part, as a matter of urgency, of all international counter-terrorism conventions.
Both sides reiterated the importance of adhering to sanctions regime against al-Qaeda and Taliban as established by UNSCR 1267 and subsequent Resolutions and the need to preserve its credibility.
Security and defence
France and India reaffirm their common interest in continuing to strengthen their defence relationship, which is an important pillar of their Strategic Partnership and reflects their common determination to work for global peace and security.
The two States agree to continue and intensify their cooperation on counter piracy and maritime security. France and India recognize the need for an intensified cooperation in combating piracy in the Gulf of Aden and other areas.
The two states welcome the ongoing exercises between their Navies (Varuna) and Air Forces (Garuda) and have confirmed their interest towards extension of their cooperation through exercises between the two Armies.
The two States also welcome the ongoing efforts and future prospects for joint programmes in defence industry, which would include joint research and development and transfer of technology. In this regard and as a first step, the two States expect to launch soon the SRSAM and Kaveri programme. Discussions concerning the upgrading of Mirage 2000 aircraft are expected to be finalised soon.
Acknowledging the essential nature of cooperation in the field of space, which is a key sector for scientific cooperation between the two countries, India and France intend to broaden the scope of their exchanges and further develop their joint efforts in this field. In the spirit of the Framework Agreement signed between Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and French National Space Agency (CNES) on a wide range of issues related to use of space for peaceful purposes, they applaud the Space establishments of both nations for the progress made in developing the Megha-Tropiques and SARAL satellites, due to be launched in 2011 timeframe.
The two governments reaffirm their determination to pursue space cooperation in the fields of Earth Observation for climate change studies and space exploration.
India and France also acknowledged the ascending trend of the industrial cooperation over the years nurtured by space industries of both countries. In this regard, they gladly welcome the recent breakthroughs made by Astrium and Antrix Corporation in the joint development and marketing of communications satellites, following their 2005 Agreement. They also welcome continuing this promising collaboration in the coming years.
3. Bilateral cooperation
Development of economic and trade exchanges
France and India welcome the outstanding development of their bilateral economic exchanges in recent years. The two countries welcome the contracts signed in the latter part of 2010 for aircraft leasing, satellite launching, biometric technology, energy and urban transportation.
Aware of the potential for the development of their bilateral exchanges and investments, and confident about the opportunities afforded by the dynamism of their economies – ranking among the leading global economies – the two governments reiterate their objective of doubling their trade exchanges in a balanced way despite the crisis, over the period 2008-2012.
Beyond that, the liberalization of exchanges provided for by the EU-India Broad-based Trade and Investment Agreement, combined with ongoing cooperation in the field of civil nuclear energy and the resumption of aviation industry contracts, will further boost trade between the two countries.
France and India welcome the significant development of cross-investments between the two countries and large-scale investment by India-based French companies in the car industry, building materials, electrical equipment, public water utilities and rail transport. They also welcome prospects for Indian investments in France.
They welcome the private sector’s involvement in boosting bilateral trade and call on the Indo-French CEOs Forum to continue to play a decisive role in identifying new avenues for cooperation and facilitating the business climate between the two countries.
Cooperation in the field of agriculture and food processing
France and India recognize the strategic importance of the agricultural and food processing sector in addressing the needs for affordable, healthy, high quality and sustainable food products in both countries.
They express in particular their will to double and balance exchanges of agricultural products as part of comprehensive cooperation including food products logistics, the distribution sector and agrifood research.
The two sides expressed satisfaction at the on-going cooperation between the two countries through the Indo-French Joint Working Group on Agriculture. The areas identified for further cooperation include strengthening the post-harvest management capacities (e.g. cold chains, storage...), wine/Vineyards, research and training and exchange programmes, animal identification and tracing and genetic improvement of dairy cattle breeds.
Cooperation in the field of sustainable development (town planning, transport, housing)
Both parties expressed their commitment to the continuation of bilateral exchanges in the field of standards, best practices and capacity building in order to further enhance cooperation between Indian and French institutional structures as well as business partnerships.
Cooperation in the field of human exchanges
France and India, reiterating the importance they attach to encouraging people to people contacts and human exchanges in accordance with the joint declarations of 25 January 2008 and 30 September 2008, reaffirm their determination to cooperate closely in the field of migration, with a view to encourage legal and orderly migration of students, professionals and skilled workers to each others’ country, depending on opportunities available, to assure the return to their country of illegal migrants who have been properly identified as their nationals and to combat irregular migration.
Welcoming the preliminary talks held in New Delhi in November, 2009 and which led to beginning of negotiations on a bilateral partnership agreement on migrations under this comprehensive approach to migration, the two States agreed to swiftly launch these negotiations between the two countries based on a draft text submitted by France with a view to conclude them as soon as possible.
University and scientific cooperation
The two States reaffirm their determination to pursue efforts in order to ensure that human exchanges permeate and stimulate all areas of bilateral cooperation, including in the fields of research, education and cultural exchanges. They encouraged the trend of increasing number of Indian students studying in France and French students studying in India. More than 200 framework agreements for promoting student mobility have been signed by French and Indian higher education institutions. The five scholarship programmes established under the “Quai d’Orsay / Entreprises” scheme have helped welcome 101 Indian students to the best schools and universities in France since 2006. A total of almost 400 scholarships were awarded in 2009. France and India call for an increase in bilateral student exchanges and pledge to facilitate the academic stays of French students in India and Indian students in France.
France and India support the launch of an ambitious cooperation at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Rajasthan, which is to allow a consortium of French higher education institutions, to initiate a partnership and joint works on sustainable development and on green accounting project. This project will ultimately make it possible to incorporate the environment into the daily business of enterprises and to develop the territory and urban heritage targeted by decentralized cooperation actions.
Recognizing the essential contribution of education and scientific research to global prosperity and stability, they welcome the success of the Franco-Indian Centre for Advanced Research (CEFIPRA) which has been steering closely science and technology-related projects since 1986. They welcome the ambitious initiatives envisaged to increase its outreach and develop its partnerships. They further reiterate their common determination to strengthen Indo-French cooperation in the field of innovation. They welcomed research collaborations in the areas of solar thermal technology, ICT in health lab, systems and designs for automobiles and aerospace, robotics and control systems, art, culture and heritage restoration.
India and France recognize that with the 21st century being hailed as the century of knowledge, alliances in the knowledge economy will be critical for both countries, especially by leveraging Information and Communication Technology. Based on their shared endeavour to strengthen democracy, transparency and accountability, France and India wish to start an initiative on Democratizing Information and Open Government as a way to use Information and Communication Technology to modernize the relationship between the State and the citizen.
The two governments welcome the action of the French Development Agency (AFD) which contributes through concessional financing for supporting projects in the field of renewable energies and energy efficiency, sustainable forest management and biodiversity conservation. As a key instrument of our cooperation in the field of sustainable development, the AFD’s level of intervention is to increase significantly over the next few years.
France and India welcome the holding of the cross cultural seasons Bonjour India and Namaste France which meet the desire for understanding and exchange on the part of the Indian and French peoples. They welcome the launching of the news channel France 24 in India. They reaffirm their determination that an Indian Cultural Centre should be established at 3 Avenue de Lowendal in Paris and intend to finalize the necessary arrangements to that end.
The two governments welcome the signing of the film Co-Production Agreement which is to inspire our future joint cooperation projects in the film industry and will be viewed as an example in terms of co-production./.
Source of English text: Indian Foreign Ministry website.