Prabhat Khabar Special: India-France relations towards a new height


Aarti Srivastava:

The friendship between India and France is very old. France has been one of India’s closest allies in Europe for decades. It was the only country that stood by India even after the 1998 nuclear tests. Unlike other countries, he did not impose any restrictions on India. Rather said that if any country is our partner in Asia, then it is India. Jacques Chirac, the then French President, publicly supported India’s nuclear test and defied US nuclear sanctions.

Angered by India’s nuclear test, America had banned all kinds of aid to India except humanitarian aid. Thus, in 1998, the two countries entered into a strategic partnership, which became closer day by day and the bilateral relations between the two countries continued to deepen.

The areas of defense and security cooperation, space cooperation and civil nuclear cooperation are the main pillars of the strategic partnership of the two countries. Not only this, there is also a strong economic partnership between India and France. In addition, the two countries have also come forward to cooperate with each other in the areas of maritime security, counter-terrorism, education, climate change, environment, renewable energy and sustainable growth and development, cyber space and digital technology in the Indo-Pacific region. are.

Need to increase bilateral trade

Economic and commercial relations have been an important link between India and France. There have been significant bilateral investments and trade and commercial cooperation between the two countries, especially in areas related to IT corridors, smart cities, railways, capital and trade exchanges, skill development, etc. But our bilateral trade is still far below potential.

India-France bilateral trade for the period April 2020 to March 2021 stood at $7.86 billion.

India’s exports to France stood at $5.6 billion in the same period, a decline of 22.9 per cent.

Exports from France to India stood at $5.1 billion in the same period, a decrease of 20.95 percent.

India’s trade with France is only 1.41 percent of India’s total international trade.

Goods trade crossed $13 billion

If we talk about the bilateral trade of goods between the two countries, then in the last five years (by the end of the financial year 2021-22) it has remained between 11 to 12 billion dollars. However, in the first 11 months of the financial year 2022-23, the total trade between the two countries crossed $ 13 billion, in which between April and February 2023, India’s exports to France went above seven billion dollars. Whereas India’s import from France which was $6.5 billion in 2017-18 has come down to $5.78 billion in 2021-22. Thus, due to decrease in imports from France, the trade balance came in favor of India.

year india france france india total trade

Year India’s Exports to France France’s Exports to India Total Trade

2017-18 4.9 6.52 11.42

2018-19 5.23 6.67 11.9

2019-20 5.1 6.17 11.27

2020-21 4.782 4.34 9.13

2021-22 6.64 5.78 12.423

Import-Export Data in Services Sector

According to the annual data provided by the Central Bank of France, India’s export of services to France has registered a decrease of 5.84 percent in the period January to December 2021 as compared to the same period last year. Where the value of exports of services was 2.51 billion euros in January to December 2020, it came down to 2.37 billion euros in January to December 2021. While the services imported from France registered an increase of 73.81 percent in 2021 as compared to 2020. Thus in 2020, where India imported services worth 2.24 billion Euros, it increased to 3.90 billion Euros in 2021.


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