Official visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to France [fr]
India-France Joint Statement on the occasion of the visit to France by the Prime Minister of India and the Statement to the Press by President Emmanuel Macron.
Château de Chantilly, 22 August 2019
1. The Prime Minister of India, Mr Narendra Modi, visited France for an official visit at the invitation of the President of the French Republic, Mr Emmanuel Macron, for a Bilateral Summit on 22nd and 23rd August 2019 in Paris and to participate in the G7 Summit, on 25th and 26th August 2019, in Biarritz, under the French presidency of the G7.
2. India and France became strategic partners in 1998 and this traditional relationship is enduring, trustworthy, like-minded, and all-encompassing. India- France relations are marked by mutual trust between two strategic partners who have always stood by each other. This relationship developed into a structured partnership, both at bilateral level as well as in international bodies. France and India have decided to give a new ambition to this partnership by opening it to new areas of cooperation.
3. Both Sides noted that there has been positive progress in the development of bilateral trade and economic relations between their countries. They reaffirmed that the India-France Administrative Economic and Trade Committee (AETC) provides an appropriate framework to assess and find ways to further promote the bilateral trade and investment as well as to speed up the resolution of market access issues to the benefit of economic operators. In this regard, it was decided to further jointly strengthen work on solving trade and investment issues of concern for the French and Indian companies, including by additional ways and mechanisms. Leaders jointly agreed that the high-level France-India economic and financial dialogue should be reactivated as quickly as possible.
4. Directly in line with the Joint Vision adopted during the State Visit to India of President Macron in March 2018, France and India desire to deepen their space cooperation so as to meet new challenges together, whether it concerns planetary exploration or human spaceflight. France and India thus welcome the decision to train medical support personnel for Indian astronauts, who will be part of India’s manned space mission by 2022. The training will be carried out in France and in India. The leaders welcomed signing of an Implementing Arrangement for establishment of a framework for the realization of joint maritime domain awareness mission. They also hailed the launch of a Space Climate Observatory that further enhances Indo-French cooperation on combating climate change, besides TRISHNA joint mission and accommodating Argos in Oceansat 3. In an increasingly threatened environment, they have also resolved to act together at the international level to promote norms and best practices necessary for guaranteeing the safety of space missions.
5. In the digital space, the two countries support economic and social development through an open, secure and peaceful cyberspace, in which the international law applies. To this end, the two leaders have adopted a cybersecurity and digital technology road map aimed at expanding Indo-French bilateral cooperation, particularly in the strategic sectors of high performance computing and Artificial Intelligence, with the target of bringing our start-up ecosystems closer to each other. They further welcomed the signing of the Cooperation Agreement between the Centre for Development of Advanced Computing and Atos aiming at developing the cooperation in the fields of quantum computing, Artificial Intelligence and exascale supercomputing.
6. The two leaders expressed satisfaction at the progress in negotiations between NPCIL and EDF since the conclusion of the Industrial Way Forward Agreement between the two parties in 2018 for the construction of six nuclear power reactors in India in Jaitapur, Maharashtra. They also noted that discussions are underway on the Techno Commercial Offer and the financing of the project as well as on how to increase localization through manufacturing in India and enhance common understanding on the CLND Act between the two Sides. Both parties reaffirmed that they were resolved to actively pursue discussions for their early conclusion. They also welcomed the extension of the Memorandum of Understanding between the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) and the French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission (CEA) concerning cooperation with the Global Centre for Nuclear Energy Partnership (GCNEP) in January 2019 for another five years, the signing of the Implementing Agreement between the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) and the CEA on the safety of Light Water Reactors (LWR) in September 2018. They also commended the joint partnership in International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactors (ITER) and European Council for Nuclear Research (CERN) projects.
7. The bilateral cooperation is notably forged on an ambitious partnership in the defence sector. Hailing the success of the 2019 editions of the Varuna naval and the Garuda air exercises, as well as the preparations for the Shakti exercise, which will be held in autumn in India, France and India are determined to further strengthen the cooperation between their armed forces and in this connection are working towards increased interoperability as well as pursuing deliberations to develop joint forces cooperation. The signing of Agreement regarding the Provision of Reciprocal Logistics Support is a manifestation of this endeavour.
8. Defence industrial cooperation is one of the mainstays of the strategic partnership between India and France. The Prime Minister of India and the President of the French Republic noted with satisfaction the progress made in the implementation of agreements signed, particularly the delivery of the first Rafale combat aircraft from this year. They reaffirmed their commitment to further strengthen cooperation in defence industry field and extended their support to existing and upcoming partnerships between the defence companies of the two countries in the spirit of “Make in India” and for the mutual benefit of both countries. Both sides noted with satisfaction that Indian MSMEs are increasingly becoming part of global supply chains of French Defence and Aerospace OEMs and reaffirmed to give further impetus to this trend. They welcomed the ongoing collaboration between aerospace and defence industrial associations of both countries, SIDM for India and GIFAS for France.
9. France and India agreed to significantly enhance people-to-people contacts and cultural exchanges. It was agreed to set up a regular dialogue on consular matters, which will facilitate exchange and mobility. Welcoming Indian tourists in each other’s countries is a particular priority - 700 000 Indian tourists visited France in 2018, i.e. 17 % more than in 2017 and more than 250,000 French tourists visited India.
10. Education is an important area of cooperation. Both Sides expressed satisfaction on the status of student mobility between the two countries, which has been aided by the teaching of French in India and the creation of the network of schools for Excellence in French. The student exchange target of 10,000 set in 2018 will be fulfilled this year itself and therefore both sides decided to enhance the target to 20,000 students by 2025.
11. They welcomed the holding of the Second Knowledge Summit in Lyon, France, in October 2019. This summit helps structure academic and scientific partnerships with corporate entities on crucial issues, such as aerospace, renewable energy, green chemistry, smart cities, agriculture, marine sciences, and Artificial Intelligence. To enhance their cooperation on Skill Development, France and India signed a Memorandum of Understanding.
12. The leaders appreciated the strong potential of Indo-French cooperation in the field of culture which will be realised through participation in each other’s major cultural events. It was decided that India will be the Country of Honour for the 2020 edition of Livre Paris, the Paris international book fair; the National Gallery of Modern Art in Delhi will hold the first exhibition in India of French artist Gérard Garouste in January 2020; and the Musée national d’art moderne (Centre Georges Pompidou) will hold a dedicated exhibition of the works of Indian artist Sayed Haider Raza in 2021. India will organise Namasté France, in 2021-2022. The two countries will adopt a Plan of Action by the end of 2019 aimed at enhancing co-produced projects, distribution, and training in the fields of cinema, video games and virtual reality. France and India agreed to cooperate shooting of films in both countries.
13. Under the framework of their partnership for the planet, France and India reaffirmed their shared commitment to effectively combat climate change and loss of biodiversity.
14. Acknowledging the need for multi-level action – local, national, regional and global – France and India urged all stakeholders to contribute to the success of the Climate Action Summit convened by the United Nations Secretary General on 23rd September 2019 and to encourage the global efforts towards combating climate change. They reaffirmed their commitment to update their nationally determined contributions in a manner representing a progression beyond the current one and reflecting their highest possible ambition in line with principles of United Nations Framework Conventions on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the Paris Agreement including equity and Common but Differentiated Responsibilities and Respective Capabilities (CBDR-RC).
15. India and France reaffirmed the importance of fulfilling the commitments under UNFCCC and the Paris Agreement and also urged all developed countries to scale up their contributions to Green Climate Fund in its first replenishment cycle in line with their commitments. Taking into consideration the goals of Paris Agreement and the recent findings of Special Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) on the impact of global warming at 1.5 degree Celsius with reference to pre-industrial levels as well as the IPCC Special Report on climate change and land, India and France, under European Union, will develop by 2020 their long-term strategies for low-GHG emission development, taking into account their Common but Differentiated Responsibilities and Respective Capabilities, in light of different national circumstances, and reflecting the highest possible level of national ambition, in line with Paris Agreement.
16. Under the framework of the G7 Summit in Biarritz and the United Nations Secretary-General’s Climate Action Summit on 23rd September 2019, France and India will also support new initiatives aimed towards low-GHG development resilient to climate change notably through financial flows alignment with the Paris Agreement objectives and supporting transition towards lower emissions of high emitting industries. The two countries thus commit to working together to encourage the ratification and implementation of the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol on the reduction of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) and promote improved energy efficiency standards in the refrigeration sector, supporting notably the “Biarritz Pledge for Fast Action on Efficient Cooling” as would be adopted. France and India reiterate their commitment made during the G20 Summit to medium term rationalisation and phasing out of Inefficient Fossil Fuel Subsidies, while providing targeted support for the most vulnerable, and together participate in a peer review.
17. The two countries reaffirmed their joint commitment to accelerate development and deployment of renewable energy. They noted with satisfaction the progress made by the International Solar Alliance so far in capacity building and sharing of best practices to harness solar energy among the member nations. Both countries appreciated the implementation of Payment Security Mechanism (PSM) by Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) and welcomed the progress achieved by the World Bank and the French Development Agency in Solar Risk Mitigation Initiative (SRMI) projects for enhancing investors’ confidence. While welcoming signing of Agreement between NISE and CEA in the field of hydrogen energy, they decided to further deepen their technological cooperation in the field of renewable energy. In line with this decision, India and France, which are contributing to the process of sustainable development of Africa, desired to cooperate to implement joint projects in the continent. Discussions are ongoing for the tripartite projects, particularly on the issues of solar irrigation and rural development in African countries and on developing skills through vocational training to sustain the development of the solar photovoltaic sector in Chad.
18. In the face of biodiversity erosion, and in line with the Charter on Biodiversity that will be endorsed in the Biarritz G7 Summit, France and India will actively work towards giving an impetus to new international, regional, national and local commitments in view of the major international events of 2020, notably the IUCN World Conservation Congress in Marseille and the COP15 to the Convention on Biological Diversity. Recalling that the successful implementation of the future Global Biodiversity Strategy, contributing to achievement of the three objectives of the Convention, is dependent on resource mobilisation, they desired financial resources commensurate with the challenges, along the lines of the 2012 Hyderabad Target for increasing the flow of international financial resources allocated for biodiversity in developing countries.
19. India and France agreed that oceans play an important role in combating climate change, preserving biodiversity, and development, and, acknowledging the link between environment and security, decided to enlarge the scope of their maritime cooperation to address these issues. For a sustainable use of marine resources, the Sides will work towards ocean governance, including through coordination in relevant international bodies. Blue Economy and coastal resilience are a common priority for India and France. In this regard, both Sides agreed to explore the potential for collaboration in marine science research for a better understanding of oceans, including the Indian Ocean.
20. In the run-up to the 14th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification, which will be held from 2nd to 13th September 2019 in New Delhi, and the 25th anniversary of the Convention signed in Paris in June 1994, France and India recalled the urgent necessity of sustainably transforming the use of Mother Earth. They desired to contribute to land restoration measures so as to fight poverty, inequalities and food insecurity on the one hand, and prevent and attenuate climate change and preserve or restore biodiversity. These measures could be based on the recommendations of IPBES special report on land degradation and restoration and its global assessment on biodiversity, as well as the IPCC special report on climate change and land adopted in Geneva in August 2019.
21. In this spirit, India and France intended to promote the initiative set up by the G7 Environment Ministers in Metz for the development of sustainable networks for supplying agricultural products to combat deforestation, notably from the environmental viewpoint through recognised certifications.
22. The two leaders reiterated their strong condemnation of terrorism in all its forms and manifestations including cross-border terrorism and terror-related incidents in France and India. Both leaders reaffirmed that terrorism cannot be justified on any grounds whatsoever and it should not be associated with any religion, creed, nationality and ethnicity.
23. Recalling the joint statement on terrorism adopted by the two countries in January 2016, the two leaders reaffirmed their strong determination to eliminate terrorism wherever it is to be found and urged the international community to strengthen the efforts to counter and prevent terrorist financing. They called upon all UN member countries to implement the UNSC Resolution 2462 on Fighting Terrorist Financing adopted last March 28 and welcomed the organization in Melbourne on November 7-8 of a new “No Money for Terror” International Conference on Fighting Terrorist Financing, which will build on the April 2018 Conference organized in Paris by the French Government and the Paris Agenda. Both the leaders agreed to work for early convening of the Global Conference, proposed by India, to tackle the threat of terrorism around the world.
24. They also called upon all countries to work together for rooting out terrorist safe havens and infrastructure, disrupting terrorist networks and their financing channels, and halting cross-border movement of terrorists belonging to Al Qaeda, Daesh/ISIS, Jaish-e-Mohammed, Hizbul Mujahideen, Lashkar-e-Tayabba, and their affiliates as well as terrorist groups threatening peace and security in South Asia and the Sahel region.
25. The two leaders, in addition to pursuing the excellent cooperation between the nodal agencies and the investigation agencies of the two countries, agreed to enhance their operational cooperation and launch fresh efforts to prevent and fight radicalization, especially Online Radicalization.
26. The two leaders reaffirmed their support for the implementation of the Christchurch Call to Action to eliminate terrorist and violent extremist online content adopted in Paris last May 15. They agreed to strengthen counter-terrorism efforts in Multilateral Fora such as UN, GCTF, FATF, G20 etc. They called upon all UN member countries to implement the UNSC Resolution 1267 and other relevant resolutions designating terrorist entities. The leaders also agreed to work together on early adoption of the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism (CCIT) in the UN.
27. Based on a shared commitment to maintaining the freedom of navigation, particularly in the Indo-Pacific zone, maritime security cooperation between France and India is a domain of excellence in their strategic partnership. In this regard, France and India welcomed the swift implementation of the conclusions of the Joint Strategic Vision of India-France Cooperation in the Indian Ocean Region, adopted during the State Visit to India of President Macron in March 2018.
28. For the implementation of the White Shipping agreement, India and France welcome the appointment of a French liaison officer at the Information Fusion Centre – Indian Ocean Region (IFC-IOR) in Gurugram.
29. France and India intend to coordinate their action at the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) and undertake, along with interested States, a joint project for reinforcing assets for combatting piracy and all kinds of maritime trafficking in the Southern Indian Ocean. France also intends to work concertedly with India at the Indian Ocean Naval Symposium (IONS), over which it will preside from 2020 to 2022.
30. France and India are democratic societies committed to upholding multilateralism. They believe more than ever before in a reformed, more efficient international system adapted to meet the challenges of the 21st century. Hence, France wished to associate India to the G7 Summit so as to better respond to the challenges of digital transformation, the climate emergency and the erosion of biodiversity. France and India call for reform of the United Nations Security Council that would enable India to gain a permanent seat on it. They also reaffirmed their commitment to working expeditiously and constructively, together and with others, towards the modernisation of the World Trade Organization, including in the lead-up to the 12th Ministerial Conference in June 2020. They agreed that updating the rules and improving the functions of the Organisation, with a particular focus on the dispute settlement system, is necessary to bolster the open, fair, transparent and rules-based multilateral trading system which has long been a significant engine of growth and development. They supported the implementation of the G20 Principles for Quality Infrastructure Investment. Further, they cooperate under the Paris Club, the main international forum for restructuring official bilateral debts.
31. Aware that the European Union brings added value to this bilateral relationship, France and India reaffirmed their determination to deepen the relations between the EU and India on strategic and multilateral issues as well as in trade, investment and innovation.
32. France and India cooperate actively for international peace and security, including in the regional crises threatening them. They support an inclusive peace and reconciliation process in Afghanistan which is Afghan led, Afghan owned and Afghan controlled, leading to a lasting political solution based on the preservation of the gains, including the constitutional order, human rights, particularly women’s rights and the liberties gained over the past eighteen years. They call for timely holding of Presidential elections; cessation of terrorist violence; and end to terrorist safe havens and sanctuaries for enduring and sustainable peace, security and stability in Afghanistan.
33. France and India agreed that full compliance with the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) on the Iranian Nuclear Programme and the UN Security Council Resolution 2231 was needed to ensure regional and international peace and security and that current issues need to be resolved peacefully through dialogue, including through efforts towards de-escalation of ongoing tensions.
34. Expressing satisfaction at the level of the existing engagement, the two sides reaffirmed their commitment to further strengthen their partnership with the objective of arriving at an even more robust, close and complementary relationship including synergising of their approaches towards issues of regional and global importance.
Mr Prime Minister, Dear Narendra,
Ladies and gentlemen,
It is a great pleasure for me to welcome you here in Chantilly, in this château for your second visit in two years, and the first since your re-election. I have exceptional memories of the welcome you extended to me during my visit to your country in March 2018, most particularly in Varanasi, in a place I know you cherish. We were both mentioning this earlier during our discussions, and that’s the reason for which I, too, wished to welcome you, in turn, at the Chateau de Chantilly, in what is one of the jewels of French heritage, of our history, in a region that I hold dear and from which I hail, and take a brief moment from the world, which makes our discussions particularly important.
A few months ago, you were re-elected at the head of world’s largest democracy. 900 million Indians cast their votes and clearly expressed their choice. It is a victory for you, so I congratulate you here once again, but it is also a sign of the democratic vitality of India, the most populous country of the world and in a zone with values we share – respect for pluralism, rule of law and liberties – which are not unanimously spread and need to be constantly protected.
The Prime Minister and I have just held wide-ranging and substantial talks, as always, which is why we decided to have long one-on-one discussions before continuing with them over delegation-level talks just after this press interaction.
We discussed first of all the priorities of the upcoming G7 Summit and we will come back to this in a moment. India’s participation in the Biarritz G7 Summit, which I desired, is vital in my eyes. It is part of the reconstitution of the international system, on which we must work because it is impossible today on challenges, such as combatting global warming, protecting biodiversity, protecting our freedoms, in the digital space, to not count India in the world as it is today for the same reasons that I have just mentioned. We decided on this step of fully associating India in the responsibilities of global governance, at the G7 just as we do at the United Nations Security Council by supporting India’s accession to the status of a permanent member.
I very deeply believe that the trust that exists between our two countries as well as the importance we both attach to our independence and building a robust multilateralism is a crucial alliance for meeting today’s challenges and together obtaining results. We have proved this, moreover, in matters as important as the Paris Climate Agreement, or after America’s withdrawal in June 2017 when the whole world must have doubted our ability to maintain a high level of ambition. We not only confirmed what we had decided to fix together but also set up the International Solar Alliance together in Delhi, which 73 States have joined as of today. It is in this same spirit of trust and shared ambitious responsibilities, that Prime Minister Modi today confirmed his support to the priorities that we will raise in Biarritz in this matter.
On climate change and biodiversity first. India, which is on track to reach its nationally determined contributions ahead of schedule, is confirming its support to fully implementing the Paris Climate Agreement by not only accepting to further raise its level of ambition but also committing to outlining a long-term decarbonisation strategy next year. India is joining hands in our endeavour to promote cleaner, more efficient cooling systems to strengthen the Kigali Amendment on HFCs, which is an important point we raised. We will start this work. We must simultaneously start mobilising all the States, as well as expert assessments to engage our economies on reducing these industries and these gases. Have both expert assessments on industrial transformation and draw in other States around us. This mobilisation will begin at the G7 and India’s commitment by our side in this regard is essential. Lastly, India is extending its support to the Biodiversity Charter adopted by Environment ministers at Metz, which is also a very important point.
I consider India’s involvement in these subjects absolutely essential, and taking into account what this country represents and the past demonstrations we have been able to make together on the International Solar Alliance is, on the one hand, a very strong commitment, but it is also a commitment we make to each other to formulate useful and concrete solutions for these issues. What we desire on HFC reduction as we do for biodiversity is to be able to build a concrete agenda of alternative solutions along with our partners.
Here, I would like to warmly thank Prime Minister Modi for his spirit of responsibility and decisiveness. I think that in this regard, also given India’s presence at the G7, the decisions that we will take and the commitments that we will make are historic in this matter on subjects for which our fellow citizens are looking up to us.
From our side, we, too, will assume our full responsibilities with regard to financing as well as transfer of technology. I have confirmed to Prime Minister Modi, France’s full mobilisation for supporting the ambitious targets India has fixed for ecological transition, renewable energy, sustainable infrastructure – and also the mobilisation that France is leading on the occasion of this G7 for obtaining clear commitments for the Climate Fund after having worked towards the indispensable reform of its governance. A few weeks ahead of the Climate Summit at the United Nations, France being mandated to lead on the issue of financing along with Jamaica by the Secretary General of the United Nations, shows our concrete commitment to countries like India in this matter.
In a while Prime Minister Modi and I will discuss other core issues of this G7, such as digital technology, cybersecurity, and the commitment we desire to develop, in particular, entrepreneurship in Africa are all subjects for which I know India will also be by our side to work usefully.
We have also together discussed the deepening of our strategic partnership and our entire bilateral cooperation. This is the second main topic of the discussions we just had. We have, in fact, noted the significant progress made since the visit I undertook in India in early 2018 in accordance with the orientations we had laid down. We have strengthened our maritime cooperation, we have strengthened our cooperation in the Indo-Pacific. The Indo-French Varuna exercise off the Goa coast in May were on an unprecedented scale with the participation of six vessels each from our respective navies, including our aircraft carriers.
Our space cooperation has also been intensified with new cooperation agreements sealed this very day on the co-development of a constellation of maritime surveillance satellites and on the training of Indian astronauts and France’s participation in India’s Venus mission. And here, I take this opportunity to publicly congratulate India – I have already done so during our one-on-one talks – for its Moon mission, launched on 22nd July.
With regard to combatting terrorism, following the Pulwama attack we mobilised together on February 2019 so that the perpetrators of this terrorist act could be clearly identified and listed by the United Nations. And the outcome obtained, in my eyes, is a clear victory of this Indo-French cooperation. We have also stepped up our efforts in the initiative launched in France last year, “No Money for Terror”, in which India participated actively and efficiently.
Our defence and armament cooperation is also very solid, and I must say it is solid because it is based on an unshakeable trust and France’s adherence to the principle of “Make in India”. But above all, it’s because we share a strategic vision, the necessity of preserving stability in the region, to combatting terrorism and protecting freedom and sovereignty everywhere, which is, in fact, at the core of our Indo-Pacific strategy. As such and in this regard, we have already obtained results. The delivery of the first Indian Rafale within a few weeks and on schedule will be a highly important symbolic moment of this longstanding overarching cooperation.
We have also discussed all matters of our maritime, naval, air cooperation on various topics and the progress we intend to achieve in the coming months under the framework of a State-to-State, government-to-government relation, which is really the structure we intend to give to the defence and armament cooperation between our two countries.
On civil nuclear energy, finally, we are advancing. Today we have confirmed the goal of crossing decisive stages for the Jaitapur project by the end of this year so as to reach the final agreement at the soonest. We are working towards this, the companies are mobilised, the desired cooperation is under way, and experts will meet in September to actively work out the last details. And it is our desire to progress on this matter together.
We are also signing, on the occasion of this trip by Prime Minister Modi, a strategic partnership on cybersecurity and digital technology, which completes this road map. And in this matter, we are together setting down our commonality of political visions and preparing the groundwork for strong joint action in the strategic sectors of supercomputing and artificial intelligence.
We have also discussed the entire gamut of our bilateral cooperation. I have underscored my desire for our economic cooperation to be more dynamic, and we are on the right track. Our bilateral trade has jumped by 25% in two years. We will establish a mechanism for resolving trade issues, and today decided to enhance our endeavours in transport, sustainable urban development and water.
Our people-to-people ties, too, are soaring. We are signing a very important agreement today to cooperate on skill development, and the goal we fixed in March 2018 during my visit in India of hosting 10,000 students in France by 2020 has already been attained this year. There are thus two possible explanations for this phenomenon: either we are lacking in ambition, Mr Prime Minister, or we have worked very well. It’s most probably a little of both, so I hope we can increase this manifold. We have thus set the new target, to keep up this momentum, of 20,000 students by 2025.
I would like to add that there are important events ahead of us with India’s presence as Country of Honour at the next Salon du Livre in Paris [Paris International Book Fair] and beautiful exhibitions in Delhi and Paris.
All these bring me to say, Mr Prime Minister, that just like France chose India, India chose France.
I would like to end on this point. This strategic partnership that comprises major international issues – such as climate change and many others, like the strength of the strategic partnership, bilateral and regional is at the core of our Indo-Pacific strategy – is based on trust. This trust is put to the greatest test in the toughest times - as it has been the case for our two countries in the past. And it is on this basis that we’ve had an in-depth and frank discussion on the Kashmir issue. The Prime Minister has described to me the prevailing situation after India’s decision to abolish the special status of the State of Jammu and Kashmir. I have, for my part, recalled that it is up to India and Pakistan to resolve their disputes in their bilateral framework, that it is the responsibility of both parties to avoid any deterioration on the ground that could lead to an escalation, just as all efforts should be made to end the organisation of cross-border terrorism. Prime Minister Modi has shared with me all the changes to which he has proceeded, which is a matter of his full sovereignty as far as the legal aspects are concerned, as well as his very firm commitment to maintaining stability in the region and actively combatting all forms of escalation and any resurgence of terrorist activities. France will, obviously, remain attentive to the interests and rights of the civilian population being duly taken into account in the territories on both sides of the Line of Control. We attach great importance to this spirit of easing the situation and dialogue, and we are greatly attached to the effectiveness of the policy of stability in combatting terrorism. That’s why, as I have said to Prime Minister Modi, I will have discussions to this effect in the coming days with Prime Minister of Pakistan to recall to him, too, France’s desire to have this issue taken up in the bilateral framework, as well as France’s concern about maintaining stability in the region and combatting all forms of terrorism.
This, ladies and gentlemen, is what I wished to say here while thanking Prime Minister again for his second visit.
You are in a place that lies at the heart of France’s history, which has left its mark across great centuries in the parks and in a part of the architecture, recalling the era referred to as the “Grand Siècle”, and which bears a part of French history beyond our borders. But it’s also a place that has hosted many events held by Indian families and some Bollywood films. And I would like this cooperation that we both hold very dear be pursued in these historic grounds. We will continue shortly and I hope that this place will also give us inspiration because what presides over our relations is mutual respect, trust, the deep awareness that we and both our countries have that today’s world requires us to rise sometimes beyond our conditions, beyond strictly national interests to shoulder some of the responsibility of the world’s stability and tackling major issues.
Thank you, Mr Prime Minister, for being here.
August 22, 2019
France and India intend to make digital technology a transformative factor in their societies, to foster economic growth, sustainable development and secure enhanced internet access which is essential to bridge digital divide.
France and India thus advocate a vision of digital technologies that empowers citizens, reduces inequalities, and promotes sustainable development.
International security and diplomatic effort
France and India affirm their commitment to an open, reliable, secure, stable and peaceful cyberspace. International law, and in particular the Charter of the United Nations, is applicable and is essential to maintaining peace and stability and promoting an open, secure, peaceful and accessible Digitalenvironment. They reaffirm the importance of promoting, and implementing voluntary norms of responsible State behaviour in cyberspace as well as confidence and capacity-building measures developed within the framework of the United Nations. This ensemble is the foundation of peace and security in cyberspace.
France and India recognise the shared responsibility of a wide variety of actors, in their respective roles, to improve trust, security and stability in cyberspace. They call for the strengthening of the multi-stakeholder approach to ensure an open, secure, stable, accessible and peaceful Digital environment, and stress that this requires joint efforts by governments, industry, academia, and civil society.
Governance, sovereignty, and technological regulation
France and India intend to work for the promotion of an inclusive and transparent, open Digital environment by preserving a multi-stakeholder and multilateral approach to the Internet that respects the interests of all stakeholders including States.
France and India recognise that the rapid development of digital technology and its use must be accompanied by a cooperative, coherent, determined and resolute action by the international community, aimed at guaranteeing the sovereignty of States over the Digital Infrastructure located within the territory of the States as well as the protection of online human rights and freedom of expression.
Cooperation in the field of cybersecurity
France and India recognise the importance of the pursuit and the deepening of the cyber dialogue whose third edition was held in Paris on June 20th, 2019, and welcomed the joint statement adopted at its end.
In this regard, they wish to strengthen their coordination in support of ongoing discussions in various multilateral fora dedicated to the discussion on application of international law and the implementation of the norms for responsible state behaviour in cyberspace adopted in previous UN GGE reports.
India and France also affirm their willingness to reinforce their cooperation, notably through the sharing of information between their cybersecurity agencies, in order to prevent malicious activities, undertake immediate corrective response, mitigate their potential impact and identify their causes.
Recognizing the need to strengthen the security of Digital processes, products and services, France and India intend to share information on the legal and regulatory framework and best practices, including on the protection of Economic Information Infrastructure impacting National security, and on testing and certification of Digital products. In this context, France and India intend to work together on the risks associated with the deployment of 5G technologies and the technical solutions adopted to deal with them.
France and India further recognise the need to address issue arising from the proliferation of malicious tools and practices in cyberspace, notably by actively participating in relevant discussions under the Wassenaar Arrangement, to which both are parties. Towards this, France and India intend to share their respective legal and regulatory frameworks, particularly with regard to the protection of Economic Information infrastructure.
France and India highlight the importance of a close cooperation between all countries to address cross-cutting threats to cybersecurity, particularly in Economic Information Infrastructure impacting national security.
Cooperation in the area of fight against cybercrime
France and India recognize that cybercrime is a transnational crimethat requires enhanced international cooperation to effectively bring cyber criminals to justice. As such, they plan to strengthen their cooperation in this area, with a particular view to facilitating sharing of information, evidence collection, the identification of offenders, particularly malware developers, hosters / hosting platform providers or broadcasters. They also express their concerns regarding the security of electronic means of payment and confirm their commitment to the protection of consumers against online financial frauds including ATM cash outs. Finally, they plan to discuss the prevention of cybercrime with Service Providers, Social Media Companies to seek information sharing arrangements.
Cooperation on digital governance
Challenges of regulation
France and India wish to strengthen their coordination in supporting the development of a legitimate, fair and balanced approach to secure Digital sector at the international level. France and India also recognize the need to develop the necessary framework to ensure that technologies remain protective of public goods, data sovereigntyand fundamental freedoms.
Regulation of artificial intelligence
France and India welcome thepotential offered by the development of Artificial intelligence, particularly in the field of sustainable development, e-governance, autonomous transportation, smart cities, cyber security, health, education and agriculture.
France and India recognized the need for developing and implementing AI policies/programs inthe context of citizen centric services, data sovereignty from legal, regulatory and cyber security perspectives. France and India are committed to fostering research and development in AI by sharing expertise and best practices.
France and India reaffirm the importance of building an international, legal and ethical corpus to ensure the rapid development of artificial intelligence in the service of humankind, in accordance with international law. They affirm their commitment to working in this direction in the various multilateral fora (G7, G20, UN) and participating in the International Panel on Artificial Intelligence (IPAI).
Fight against terrorist, violent extremist and hateful content online
France and India reaffirm the responsibility and accountability of Social Media platforms in the moderation of terrorist and violent extremist content as well as illegal hate speech online and recall their support for the principles set out in the Christchurch Call.
Prevention of manipulation of information
France and India reiterate their commitment to preventing the manipulation of information, spreading fake news and the importance of online freedom of expression. They highlight the risks that can be raised by the circulation of manipulated information fake news and profiling of personal data. France and India call for an international exchange on this threat, particularly on the development of a framework to regulate social media platform.
Protection of personal information
France and India wish to develop an innovative Digital ecosystem that is secure and respectful of users’ data protection. In the context of the implementation of the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and India’s objective to put in place adequate regulation in this area, both parties recognise that the convergence of data protection frameworks of Europe and India would facilitate the flow of information and data.
Reduction of digital divide
Considering the importance and the role of technology in the lives of citizens, France and India intend to promote digital inclusion, to bridge digital divide and promote digital literacy, notably by exchanging information on their national policies and good practices in this regard.
Indo-French digital partnership
The Ministry of the Economy and Finance of France and the Ministry of Electronics and IT (MeitY) of India will be nodal points to coordinate the implementation of this Indo-French digital partnership through appropriate mechanism.
To intensify the exchange, both sides intend to hold regular consultations on "Indo-France Digital Partnership” by physical meetings and video conferences.
The organizations under this Roadmap will interact and coordinate, as appropriate, with other commitments between entities in France and India.
1.1. Economic exchanges
Business and innovation
France and India want to foster business cooperation in the digital sector by offering a wider scope to work in their respective markets. Also, French and Indian digital companies will jointly work towards furthering the scope of market opportunity to a new level and create greater bonds between their thriving tech ecosystems.
France and India already share strong economic exchanges in the digital sector - such as bilateral investments made by several French companies that have participated in the digital outreach of India as well as Indian firms that are setting up offices in France.
France and India underline the importance of a rapid convergence of start-up ecosystems in both countries, welcoming initiatives that allow entrepreneurs to exchange ideas and share projects, including: French Digital companies in India and Indian Digital companies in France, which have generated significant employment. Illustrative examples are:
- the former French Tech Tickets initiative, which enabled 13 Indian start-ups to follow an incubation-acceleration programme in France;
- the recently launched French Tech Bangalore India Community to create greater exchanges between our two tech ecosystems;
- a brand new French Tech Visa that fast tracks the process for Indian employees, founders and investors to join the French tech ecosystem and create new bridges between France and India;
- the French Tech Community Bangalore India and MeitY Start up Hub as a bridge of cooperation between the tech ecosystem in France and India.
1.2. Research, training and education
Supercomputing, quantum computing
France and India underline the fact that high performance computing is a critical part of their bilateral cooperation in the digital field. They appreciate the progress made in their cooperation within the framework of the National Supercomputing Mission, which has enabled the joint development of high performance calculation tools.
Both sides appreciate the launch of an Indo-French pilot project dedicated to using high performance computing for water flow simulation in the Mahanadi river basin.
France and India affirm their wish to further expand and deepen this cooperation, in three main areas:
- High performance computing applied to artificial intelligence;
- Quantum calculation, in this respect they appreciate the creation of an Indo-French Center of Excellence in Quantum Calculation in Pune;
- Exascale calculation.
Both parties further agree to evolve programs and methodologies for participation in emerging technologies including Artificial Intelligence, quantum computing, smart manufacturing and automotive electronic components.
Artificial intelligence initiative
Hoping to take advantage of the excellence of their respective courses in computer Science and their schools in mathematics, France and India wish to develop an Indo-French research and innovation programme dedicated to artificial intelligence.
A consortium, bringing together academic institutions, ministries and reference companies, will mobilise all the potential in artificial intelligence of France and India around projects in the fields of health, climate, and transport, agriculture, disaster response, smart cities etc.
As part of this consortium, both parties will work towards mobilising € 2 million annually to fund basic and applied research projects, scholarships for training and research, exchange of experts and research projects, and awareness-raising measures.
This consortium will meet annually as part of the Knowledge Summit, with its first meeting to be held in Lyon in October 2019.