Official Visit to India of Jean-Yves Le Drian [fr]
Official Visit to India of H.E. Mr Jean-Yves Le Drian, Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs of France, to reinforce Indo-French strategic, cultural and economic ties.
Delhi-Bengaluru, 13-15 April 2021
H.E. Mr Jean-Yves Le Drian, Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs of France, undertook an official visit to India on 13th - 15th April 2021 to strengthen strategic ties between France and India, boost cooperation in several fields, particularly the Indo-Pacific, and participate in the Raisina Dialogue.
On Tuesday, 13th April, the first day of this visit, Minister Le Drian, held in-depth bilateral consultations with Dr Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, Hon’ble Minister of External Affairs of India. Their talks covered all aspects of the bilateral strategic partnership, joint initiatives in the Indo-Pacific, regional and global issues of common interest, and cooperation in the United Nations Security Council, where India currently sits as an elected member.
On the same day, the Minister presided over initiatives aimed at furthering people-to-people and cultural ties between France and India.
In keeping with France’s goal to boost student mobility between the two countries, Minister Le Drian appointed 15 Alumni Ambassadors (9 women and 6 men) chosen from the prestigious France Alumni network. These alumni have pursued studies in the fields of science, management, art, culinary and social sciences and have become leaders in their respective fields in India. They signed a Charter engaging them in the Alumni Ambassadorship programme.
In the evening, Minister Le Drian addressed Indo-French cooperation in cinema and the promotion of gender equality in this industry. He met with Ms Guneet Monga, Producer & CEO, Sikhya Entertainment, Indian producer of the Indo-French joint productions like “The Lunchbox” "Masaan" and "Taj Mahal", and founder of “Indian Women Rising – A Cinema Collective”. The Minister confered upon her the French award of Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres for her contribution in the field of cinema. The Minister also met several French and Indian cinema personalities who are involved in Indo-French projects and/or in the promotion of gender equality in cinema, such as Sreyashi Sen, Indian producer of the movie “Slow Joe”, which will be filmed in France, and French producer Pierre Filmon, whose movie “Long Time No See” received an award at the Rajasthan Film Festival 2021.
Gender equality is a top priority for France’s diplomacy and French cooperation with India. During the course of the evening, the Ambassador of France to India, H.E. Mr Emmanuel Lenain, signed an agreement with French Collectif 50/50, represented by its co-president, the French producer Sandrine Brauer, which commits the Embassy to promoting equality and diversity in its audiovisual cooperation with India, in particular by providing equal opportunities to male and female professionals. More information on the French Embassy’s gender equality programme can be found on www.ifindia.in/equality and http://ifindia.in/women-in-cinema.
On Wednesday, 14th April, Minister Le Drian together with Shri Prakash Javadekar, Hon’ble Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, took part in a panel discussion at the French Embassy on boosting global action against climate change in view of COP26. Both Ministers delivered speeches on this occasion. The panel featured the French Ambassador for Climate, H.E. Mr Stéphane Crouzat, and several Indian civil society figures who are active in environment protection and whose actions are key in driving and achieving the ecological transition. 2021 is a crucial year for international action against climate change and biodiversity erosion, with key milestones such as COP15 in Kunming and COP26 in Glasgow. In this context, India and France launched the Indo-French Year of the Environment in January 2021 to strengthen cooperation on these issues and ensure coordination ahead of these multilateral events.
Thereafter, Minister Le Drian attended the Raisina Dialogue and participated in a joint discussion with Minister Jaishankar and Ms Marise Payne, Hon’ble Minister for Foreign Affairs of Australia, on multilateralism in the Indo-Pacific region.
On Thursday, 15th April, the last day of his visit, Mr Jean-Yves Le Dria traveled to Bengaluru, where he highlighted Indo-French cooperation on health and biological sciences at the Bangalore Life Sciences Cluster (BLiSc), visited ISRO’s Human Space Flight Centre (HSFC) at a time when the decades-long Indo-French space cooperation is embarking on new initiatives, and met investors and CEOs of major Indian business groups to promote France as an attractive investment destination.
Mr Le Drian concluded his visit to India by meeting the French Tech Community Bangalore-India, to promote cooperation between the two countries in the field of technological innovation and the development of ties between Indian and French startups.
This is the third high-level official visit from France since the beginning of the year, following the bilateral Strategic Dialogue on 7th January and the visit of the French Minister for Ecological Transition on 28th-31st January.
- Press statement following bilateral meeting
- Student mobility and the appointment of 15 Alumni Ambassadors of Higher Education in France