Challenges in India-France relations
- France’s commitment to ‘BRI’ (Belt and Road Initiative) is in stark contrast to India’s position on the same.
- Presently cooperation on Indo-Pacific is merely symbolic. Need deep coordination between both navies. Reciprocal logistics support is a right step in this direction.
- Thermal power still feasible and economic than solar in India, so International Solar Alliance (ISA) will not make much headway in near future.
- Delay in the Jaitapur project is affecting future cooperation on the nuclear front.
- Delays and controversies around Rafael deal are affecting mutual trust between both the nations.
Future of India-France Relations
- The India-France relationship is primarily driven by government-to-government level relations. It needs people-to-people and business-to-business relations to deepen the ties.
- French infrastructure companies are looking for opportunities in Indian projects especially in smart cities and renewable energy.
- India should leverage this opportunity by improving ease of doing business. Model Bilateral Investment Treaty of India has drawn sharp criticism from investors, Government should revisit this by taking into account concerns of all the stakeholders.
- India-France should build on reciprocal logistics support agreement to deepen military ties 14 agreements signed on during Macron’s visit covering the whole gamut of issues from space cooperation to sustainable urban development.
- Both countries should carry forward these commitments consistently to deepen the relationship.