About Us India-France Economic and Commercial Brief

India-France Comprehensive Economic and Commercial Brief

1.Overview of the French Economy

At present, France is the 7th largest economy of the world with a total GDP ofUSD 2.53 trillion in 2020 with a GDP rate decrease of 8.3% last year. It had aPer Capita GDP (PPP) of USD 46,537 in 2020. France is an important member of the G-7, OECD and G-20. Its technological strengths make it the leader in sectors such as aviation, space, food processing, transport, railways and agricultural research.

2. India-France Economic & Commercial Relations

The economic and commercial relations are an important component of India's bilateral relations with France. The economic reforms process in India, eleven Prime Ministerial visits from India to France (in 1992, 1995, 1998, 2003, 2005, 2008, 2009, 2011, 2015, 2017 & 2019), the visit of our President to France(in 2000), visit of the French Prime Minister to India (in 2003), the visits of the French President to India (in 1998, 2006, 2008, 2010, 2013, 2016 & 2018) and the growing French interest in establishing their presence in Asian markets including in India have all contributed to the broadening of economic links.The series of high-level visits in the commercial and economic field reflects the growing interest of both the governments in expanding trade between the two countries. France considers India an important market for its products andis looking to increase the number of joint ventures and encouraging investments in and from India.

3. Bilateral Trade in Goods (January to December 2020)

In 2020, the India-France bilateral trade stood at € 9.04 billion (-21.99%) as compared to the corresponding period the previous year.India’s exports to France were valued at € 4.80 billion, down by 22.9% during this period.Indian imports from France also decreased by 20.95% to € 4.23 billion.

India-France Trade in Goods in the last 10 years (in Million €)

Year
(Jan. to Dec.)

Indian Exports
to France

French Exports
to India

Total Trade

Balance
of Trade
for India

Y-o-Y % Changes in Total Trade

2011

4,696

2,769

7,465

+1,927

+6.23%

2012

4,656

3,256

7,912

+1,400

+5.98%

2013

4,440

2,713

7,153

+1,727

-9.59%

2014

5,216

2,704

7,920

+2,502

+10.70%

2015

5,218

2,703

8,548

+2,196

+7.91%

2016

4,669

3,910

8,580

+759

+0.37%

2017

5,362

5,345

10,707

+17

+24.79%

2018

5,993

5,529

11,522

+463

+7.61

2019

6,238

5,358

11,596

+880

+0.64

2020

4,809

4,235

9,045

+574

-21.99

Source: French Ministry for Economy & Finance (Data rounded off to nearest million €)

Trends in 2020

Trade

In February 2021, India-France bilateral trade stood at € 814.35 million. India’s exports to France stood at € 491.9 million. Main exports to France included:

- Petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous minerals
-Telephones for cellular networks ‘mobile telephones’ or for other wireless networks
-Medicaments consisting of mixed or unmixed products for therapeutic or prophylactic purposes, put up in measured doses ‘incl. those for transdermal administration’ or in forms or packings for retail sale (excl. containing antibiotics, hormones or steroids used as hormones, alkaloids, provitamins, vitamins, their derivatives or antimalarial active principles)
-Generating sets, wind-powered
-T-shirts, singlets and other vests of cotton, knitted or crocheted
-Diamonds, worked, but not mounted or set (excl. industrial diamonds)
-Oilcake and other solid residues, whether or not ground or in the form of pellets, resulting from the extraction of soya-bean oil
-Articles of jewellery and parts thereof, of precious metal other than silver, whether or not plated or clad with precious metal (excl. articles > 100 years old)
-New pneumatic tyres, of rubber, of a kind used on agricultural or forestry vehicles and machines
-Women's or girls' dresses of cotton (excl. knitted or crocheted and petticoats)

Meanwhile, French exports to India stood at € 322 million. Main exports to India included:

- Aeroplanes and other powered aircraft of an of an unladen weight more than 15.000 kg
-Vaccines for human medicine (excl. vaccines against SARS-related coronaviruses)
-Turbojets of a thrust > 44 kN
-Flat-rolled products of alloy steel other than stainless, of a width of >= 600 mm, not further worked than hot-rolled, not in coils (excl. products of silicon-electrical steel)
-Machines for the reception, conversion and transmission or regeneration of voice, images or other data, incl. switching and routing apparatus (excl. telephone sets, telephones for cellular networks or for other wireless networks)
-Vinyl chloride ‘chloroethylene’
-Data-processing machines, automatic, presented in the form of systems ‘comprising at least a central processing unit, one input unit and one output unit’ (excl. portable weighing <= 10 kg and excl. peripheral units)
-Medicaments consisting of mixed or unmixed products for therapeutic or prophylactic purposes, put up in measured doses ‘incl. those for transdermal administration’ or in forms or packings for retail sale (excl. containing antibiotics, hormones or steroids used as hormones, alkaloids, provitamins, vitamins, their derivatives or antimalarial active principles)
-Generators of a kind used for internal combustion engines (excl. magneto dynamos and dual purpose starter-generators)
-Parts and accessories, for tractors, motor vehicles for the transport of ten or more persons, motor cars and other motor vehicles principally designed for the transport of persons, motor vehicles for the transport of goods and special purpose motor vehicles,n.e.s

4. Bilateral Trade in Services

Based on annual data provided by the French Central Bank (Banque de France), Indian exports of services to France recorded a very slight increase of 0.16% from January to December 2019 as compared to the same period of the previous year from € 2.45 billion to € 2.46 billion, with the following categories of services registering a growth (in descending order): building & public works (+630%); manufacturing services supplied by physical inputs held by third parties (+42.02%); maintenance & repair services (+34.92%); travel (+29.12%); cultural, leisure & personal services (+25%) and telecommunication, computer & information services (+5.26%). However, the following categories have shown a decrease: pension & insurance services (-88.29%); commission for use of intellectual property (-29.26%); financial services (-9.70%); transport (-7.69%) and other services to businesses (-2.88%).

Indian imports of services from France also registered a growth of 3.94% last year from € 1.92 billion in 2018 to € 2 billion in 2019. The following categories contributed to this increase (in descending order): cultural, leisure & personal services (+1,290%); manufacturing services supplied by physical inputs held by third parties (+91.04%); other services to businesses (+30.16%); maintenance & repair services (+21.46%); telecommunication, computer & information services (+8.48%); commission for use of intellectual property (+2.17%) and travel (+1.96%). In contrast, the following ones have gone down: pension & insurance services (-184.61%); financial services (-42.85%); transport (-12.53%); building & public works (-100%) and goods & services of public administration (-100%).

India-France Trade in Services over the last 5 Years (in Million €)

Year
(Jan.-Dec.)

Indian Exports
to France

French Exports
to India

Total

Y-o-Y % of Increase/Decrease

2015

1,715

1,695

3,410

-7.33

2016

1,775

1,463

3,238

-5.04

2017

2,563

1,739

4,302

+32.85

2018

2,459

1,928

4,387

+1.97

2019

2,463

2,004

4,467

+1.82

Composition of India-France Trade in Services in 2019 (in Million €)

No.

Major Categories of Services

Indian Exports
to France

Indian Imports from France

1.

Manufacturing services supplied by physical inputs held by third parties

98

128

2.

Maintenance &repair services

85

266

3.

Transport

336

551

4.

Travel

266

259

5.

Building & public works

73

0

6.

Pension &insurance services

11

-77

7.

Financial services

93

20

8.

Commission for use of intellectual property

116

141

9.

Telecommunication, computer & information services

460

179

10.

Other services to businesses

910

397

11.

Cultural, leisure&personal services

15

139

12.

Goods & services of public administration

0

0

13.

Other services (not included elsewhere)

0

0

Total

2,463

2,004

5. French Investments in India

France has emerged as a major source of FDI for India with more than 1,000 French establishments already present in India. France is the 11th largest foreign investor in India with a cumulative investment of USD 9.83 billion from April 2000 to March 2021 which represents 1.86% of the total FDI inflows into India according to statistics provided by the DIPP. The highest FDI equity inflows are in the services sector (19.06%), with cement & gypsum products (9.96%) in the second place, followed by air transport (including air freight) (8.06%), petroleum & natural gas (7.63%) and electrical equipment (5.70).

Most big French groups have their subsidiaries in India. There are also a few joint ventures and liaison offices of French companies in India. 39 of the 40 CAC 40 (French Stock Market Index) companies are present in India. Around 50-70 SMEs are also present in India essentially in the mechanical and pharma-chemical sectors. French companies are present in a wide range of sectors: services (BNP Paribas, Capgemini, Havas, Sodexo, etc.); pharmaceutical-chemical (Arkema, L’Oréal, Sanofi, Total, etc.); aerospace (Airbus, Dassault, Eurocopter, Safran, Thales, etc.); agro-food (Bongrain, Danone, Lactalis, Lesaffre, Pernod Ricard, etc.); electronics (Crouzet, Gemalto, Oberthur, Safran, STMicroelectronics, etc.); construction mechanics (Alstom, Cermex, Legris Group, Poclain, Sidel, etc.); electrical components (Hager, Legrand, Schneider Electric, etc.); automobile (Faurecia, Michelin, Plastic Omnium, Renault, Valeo, etc.).

French investments cleared in 2021 include amongst others Edifixio (technological services) and Ceva Santé Animale (pharmaceutical products & vaccines).

[According to the estimates from the French Embassy in India, French companies employ around 300,000 persons in India and have a turnover of more than USD 20 billion and have a minimum stock investment portfolio of USD 19 billion]

FDI Equity Inflows from France

Financial Year
(April-March)

FDI Equity Inflows from France

INR Crores

USD Million

€ Million

Y-o-Y % Changes

2000-01

455

104

92

N.A.

2001-02

488

108

95

+3.5

2002-03

533

111

98

+3.3

2003-04

176

38

33

-65.6

2004-05

536

117

104

+206.7

2005-06

82

18

16

-84.2

2006-07

527

117

103

+533.6

2007-08

582

145

128

+23.7

2008-09

2,098

466

412

+221.4

2009-10

1,436

302

267

-35.1

2010-11

3,348

734

649

+142.6

2011-12

3,110

662

586

-9.7

2012-13

3,487

646

571

-2.4

2013-14

1,841

305

270

-52.7

2014-15

3,881

634

587

+117.42

2015-16

3,937

598

544

-7.32

2016-17

4,112

614

574

+5.51

2017-18

3,297

511

414

-27.87

2018-19

2,890

406

361

-12.80

2019-20

13,686

1,896

1,730

+379.22

Cumulative Inflows
(April 2000 to March 2021)

60,152

9,830

8,264

/

Source: DIPP

6. Indian Investments in France

According to the ‘Business France Annual Report 2020’, a public operator supporting French investors in India and Indian investors in France, there are around 200 subsidiaries of Indian businesses established in France, where they employ more than 6,000 people.

Nine investment decisions from India were recorded in France in 2020, creating 496 jobs, 39% more than in 2019.

Investments made by HCL Technologies on its sites in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region and in the Paris region were responsible for 340 of these jobs (70%) and all jobs recorded in engineering and business services. The leading business activity for Indian investment by project numbers however was decision-making centers (three projects).

Among Indian investments in 2020, three were in IT services, while the pharmaceuticals/biotechnologies and hospitality sectors were each responsible for two projects.

Location-wise, Indian businesses invested primarily in the Paris region and the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region (both three projects), with the remaining projects split between the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region (two projects) and the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region (one project).

In the last two years, the leading European recipient of job-creating investment from India was the United Kingdom, attracting 27% of all Indian investment in Europe, followed by Germany (20%) and the Netherlands (9%), while France, in fourth place, received 7%.

Top 5 Indian Businesses by Employment in France:

1. Tata Group (Tata Sons, Tata Consultancy Services) -ITeS/Metalworking (3,230 employees)
2.SamvardhanaMotherson Group (SMC, SMRC) - Automotive industry (2,000 employees)
3. Centum Electronics - Electrical/IT equipment (575 employees)
4.UPL - Chemicals/plastics (570 employees)
5. Mahindra & Mahindra - Automotive industry (500 employees)

As of 31 December 2019, the FDI stock in France was 174 million (French Central Bank).

The following Indian companies choose France in 2020:

1. HCL Technologies: Indian multinational HCL, a leader in IT services such as outsourcing and software integration, has decided to significantly increase its presence in France, especially at its Saint-Priest site (Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region), where the group recruited around a hundred IT engineers in 2020. HCL Technologies hopes to double its workforce in the Lyon region and to recruit a further 250 employees over the next three years.
2. Mixe.Store: Operational in the Paris region since November 2020, Mixe.Store was created by an Indian citizen and HEC alumnus and has rapidly grown to establish itself as the leading e-commerce platform in Europe for groceries and cooking products from south-east Asia. A pioneer in price alignment and in creating a standardized consumer experience in the South Asian food market, Mixe.Store already operates in 12 European countries. The business plans to integrate new product categories (Made in France, Mediterranean, etc.) and to develop in new markets, such as Australia and the United States. The firm has already invested € 40,000 and plans to invest an additional € 300,000, eventually recruiting around ten people.
3. Tata Group: At the end of 2020, Tata Sons’ telecoms subsidiary, Tata Communications, acquired a 58.1% stake in the French eSIM specialist, Oasis, created by Olivier Leroux, which develops online software to remotely reprogram SIM cards. This business is based in Saint-Germain-en-Laye (Paris region) and Aix-en-Provence (Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region) and employs a few dozen people. Tata Communications and Oasis will now jointly develop innovative products to shape the mobility and IoT of tomorrow.
4. Aurobindo Pharma: This business, which specializes in the production and marketing of generic products, is strengthening its presence in Lyon (Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region) via the Arrow France laboratory. It has invested € 22 million in its logistics packaging and palletizing site at the Plaine de l’Ain industrial park and has recruited 100 people. The group has shown solidarity by providing France with etomidate injections to help with the Covid-19 crisis.

7. Issues related to Trade Protection/Rejection of Indian Goods, Sanitary and Phytosanitary/Technical Barriers and other Non-Tariff Barriers

Export consignments of agro and food products are bound by higher Sanity and Phytosanitary (SPS) and Minimum Residual Level (MRL) standards, which are applicable across the EU. Failure to comply with them may attract border rejection and rapid alerts. In addition, export of goods/articles containing chemicals e.g. clothing, footwear, leather products, gems and jewelry, furniture, packing materials, pharmaceuticals etc. require compliance with the REACH (Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of Chemicals) Regulation which are also applicable across the EU.

8. Bilateral Mechanisms to promote Trade and Investments

India-France Joint Committee for Economic & Technical Cooperation (JCETC) was set up on 26January 1976 through an exchange of letters between the Ministers of Commerce and Foreign Trade. Meetings are held at Ministerial level alternately in Delhi and Paris. This Joint Committee is the major institutional mechanism for cooperation in the economic and technical sector. The 17th session of the Joint Committee was held on 24October 2017 in Paris. The entire gamut of bilateral economic and commercial relationship was reviewed at the meeting, and both sides agreed to continue and intensify cooperation.The 18th session of the India-France Joint Consultative Meeting (JCM) was held virtually on 27 November 2020. A joint announcement was also signed for setting up of a FAST-TRACK system for French companies in India and Indian companies in France which was to be made operational by the end of December 2020.

Joint Working Groups (JWGs) at the senior official level have also been constituted through MoUs to deal with specific aspects of economic cooperation, including for Agriculture and Food Processing, IT & Telecommunications, Roads, Sustainable Urban Development and Energy. During the visit of French President to India (14-15 February 2013), the two countries further agreed to establish an annual bilateral Economic and Financial Dialogue (EFD) between the two Finance Ministries on economic and financial issues. The first such Economic and Financial Dialogue was held in Paris on 29October 2013.

The 15th JWG Meeting on Sustainable Urban Development was held virtually on 2-3 March 2021.

The 9th JWG meeting on Agriculture including Food Processing was scheduled to take place virtually on 25 March 2021 but has been postponed.The 8th JWG on Agriculture including Food Processing was held on 6-7 December 2016 in Paris.

9. Bilateral Agreements/Memorandum of Understanding (MoU)

India and France have signed a number of Agreements to facilitate the expansion of commercial relations.

Among these are the Double Taxation Avoidance Convention (DTAC) [where India has requested a protocol, to amend Article 28 to insert new disclosure norms on which bilateral consultations are continuing], MoU on cooperation in Tourism, MoU on Intellectual Property and a Social Security Exemption Agreement (SSA).

In October 2012, India and France signed an Agreement for cooperation in the field of Sustainable Urban Development. Another MoU on Bilateral Cooperation in Food Industries Sector was signed on 24October 2012.

During the visit of French President to India (14-15 February 2013), the two countries concluded an MoU between the Ministry of Railways of the Republic of India and the French National Railways (SNCF) on Technical Cooperation in the field of Railway Sector as well as a General Framework Agreement between Oséo (the French Innovation Promotion Agency) and Technology Development Board (TDB) of India to establish a collaborative framework under which Oséo and TDB may carry out activities related to the exchanging of best practices and the setting up of coordinated measures to foster technological exchanges and innovation collaborations between companies, organizations and institutions of France and India.

The following four agreements/MoUs were signed during the visit of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi to France on 10-11 April 2015: i) MoU on cooperation in the field of renewable energy between the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE), Government of India and the Ministry of Ecology, Sustainable Development and Energy, Government of France; ii) Railway Protocol between Indian Ministry of Railways and French National Railways (SNCF) on cooperation in semi high speed rail and station renovation; iii) MoU between National Skill Development Agency (NSDA), India and the National Commission for Vocational Qualifications (Commission Nationale de la Certification Professionnelle - CNCD) & iv) Letter of Intent on Tourism.

During French President François Hollande’s visit to Indian in January 2016, MoUs were signed in the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Mr. Hollande in the field of smart and sustainable cities and helicopter production as also JV agreements and Letters of Intent in the field of renewable energy/wind energy.

India and France signed a MoU on civil aviation in April 2017 in New Delhi in the presence of Shri P. Ashok Gajapathi Raju, Minister of Civil Aviation, and Mr. Alain Vidalies, Minister of State for Transport, Marine Affairs and Fisheries, to strengthen India-France cooperation on transport.
Both countries signed a pact in March 2018 in New Delhi to deepen cooperation in the environment field while affirming their commitment to lead the fight against climate change. The pact was signed by the Minister of State for Environment, Shri Mahesh Sharma, and the French Minister of State, attached to the Minister for the Ecological and Inclusive Transition, Ms. BrunePoirson.

The following four MoUs were signed during the visit of Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, to France in August 2019: i) MoU between the National Institute of Solar Energy (NISE), Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, and the French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission (CEA), ii) Administrative arrangement between the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, and the French Ministry of National Education and Youth, for Cooperation in Skill Development and Vocational Training, iii) Cooperation agreement between the Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC), an autonomous scientific society of the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology and Atos, a French multinational IT service and consulting firm & iv) Implementing arrangement between ISRO and CNES (France) for Joint Maritime Domain Awareness

10. Agreement on Social Security

An Agreement on Social Security exemption was signed during Prime Minister’s visit in September 2008. The Agreement has been ratified by the two sides and has come into force on 1 July 2011. The agreement will protect the interests of expatriate workers and the companies on a reciprocal basis.  It helps workers by (i) providing for exemption from social security contribution in case of short-term contracts;  (ii) exportability of pension in case of relocation to the home country or any third country; and (iii) totalization of the contribution periods.

11. VIE (Volontariat International en Enterprise)

Voluntary International Apprenticeship Program: Under this scheme, started in 2008, young French interns/graduates are sent to French companies in India as trainees for a period of one year. The cost is borne by the company utilizing the trainee, with Government defraying certain costs and offering tax subsidies to companies utilizing the scheme. At present there is a cap of 250 visas per annum under the scheme, and the validity of the scheme has been extended till September 2020.

12. CEO’s Forum

During French President’s visit to India in January 2008, it was decided to establish an India-France Foundation which could begin as an India-France high level CEO’s Round Table. An announcement was made during PM’s visit to France in September 2008 to set up an India-France High level CEO’s Forum. The Indian side is headed by Mr. Dhruv Sawhney, Chairman, Triveni Engineering & Industries (earlier by Mr. Narayana Murthy, Chief Mentor of Infosys). The French side is headed by Mr. Paul Hermelin, Chairman of the Board of Directors, Capgemini, and Special Representative of the French Government for Indo-French Economic Relations. The 1st meeting of the Forum was held in New Delhi on 28-29 November, 2009; 2nd meeting took place on 24-25 June 2010 at Paris; 3rd meeting was held in New Delhi on 6December 2010; 4th meetingheld in Paris on 30-31 January 2012; 5th meeting of the Forum held in New Delhi on 22-23 November 2012 which discussed issues related to India-France collaboration on various PPP projects in infrastructure, sustainable development with focus on energy efficiency and corporate social responsibility, especially in the field of promoting education. During the visit of the French President to India on 14-15 February 2013, the CEO’s forum presented its recommendations on Private-Public Partnerships, Corporate Social Responsibility and Sustainable Development to the two governments. The 6th meeting of the CEO’s Forum was held in Paris on 8-9 July 2013. The meeting discussed issues related to Education and employability through skill building. The Indian CEO’s called on the French President and were assured that they would be treated at par with French businesses when investing in France. The 7th meeting of the CEO’s Forum was held in Paris, France on 9April 2015 as a precursor to the visit of the Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, to France in April 2015. The French Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development, Mr. Laurent Fabius, was present at the Forum as also Secretary, Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP), Mr. Amitabh Kant. 30 CEO’s took part in this event. The topics discussed included Energy, Water, Agro and Food Processing, Skill Development and Education, Defence and Aerospace and Life Sciences. There was a decision to constitute five Task Forces with designated Sherpas on (i) Energy (conventional and renewable) (ii) Water and Waste (iii) Life Sciences (iv) Defence & Aerospace and (v) Infrastructure Financing; the 8th meeting of the Forum was held in Chandigarh on 24January 2016 during the visit of President Hollande to India. The French Finance Minister, Mr. Michel Sapin, and Secretary Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP), Mr. Amitabh Kant, attended this session. Projects were proposed in the following identified sectors: defence, green economy, smart cities, infrastructure & transportation, water, and financial sector. The 9th meeting of the Forum was held in Paris on 13January 2017. The Forum was convened in the presence of Mr. Michel Sapin, the Minister of Economy and Finance. Members reviewed the progress since the last meeting which was held in Chandigarh on 24January 2016 on the sidelines of the visit of President Hollande to India. The topics discussed included Smart Cities - Transport & IT, Infrastructure, Energy & Water and Defence. The 10th CEO’s Forum was held on 10March 2018 in New Delhi during President Macron’s official visit to India. The 11th Indo-French CEO’s Forum (virtual platform) was scheduled to be held on 20-21 January 2021 but has been postponed.

13. India-France Economic Cooperation through AFD (French Agency for Development)

Pursuant to signing of a MoU in September 2008 between Department of Economic Affairs (DEA) and the French Agency for Development, the AFD extends credit for various projects in India. The priority areas for AFD economic cooperation in India are (i) energy efficiency and renewable energy within the framework of the National Action Plan on Climate Change (NAPCC), (ii) urban infrastructure (public transport, water, etc., through sustainable development projects and infrastructure development programmes such as JNNURM), and (iii) the preservation of biodiversity. The current projects being supported by the AFD include (i) ‘Reorganizing the Water Supply System of Jodhpur City in Rajasthan’, Phase II worth € 71.1 million (ii) ‘Forestry and Bio-diversity Conservation Project in Assam’ worth € 54 million (iii)  Credit Facility Agreement (CFA) for the Bangalore Metro Rail Project, Phase-I (iv) IREDA II and (v) Cochin Metro Project.

14. India-France Business Associations in France

France-India Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCIFI, Neuilly-sur-Seine) was created in 1984 as a non-profit organization that aims to promote bilateral commercial relations between India and France. It has as its members several Indian and French companies. The Mission has been working with CCIFI to promote bilateral relations through joint activities.

The Chamber brings out a fortnightly newsletter in French and English which provides information in brief on various topics pertaining to economy, trade and industry.

With the support of the Mission, an India-France Business Club(Business Club France Inde) was started in January 2014 in Marseille, the second largest city in France after Paris and the largest port, to assist Indian businesses, entrepreneurs and to generate interest about India among the French businesses in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur Region.

15. Activities for promoting Trade and Investment

Promotion of economic and commercial relations between India and France is a major priority for the Mission and the E&C Wing, under the direction and guidance of the Ambassador, works to promote Indian business and industry by encouraging trade and investment, assisting Indian firms with Government and private sector contacts, providing information, supporting and advising Indian companies about the French market.

Major commercial activities of the Mission include : (i) promotion of Indian goods and services in France, (ii) promotion of Brand India and corporate image of India, (iii) promotion of India as a foreign direct investment destination, and(iv) promotion of the ‘Make in India’ campaign. In each of these activities Mission’s action mostly involve gathering and dissemination of information, outreach, coordination and facilitation.

16. Recent Ministerial Visits from India to France

11-12 November 2019 - External Affairs Minister, Dr. S. Jaishankar, visited Paris and held Talks with Mr. Jean-Yves Le Drian, France’s Minister of Europe and Foreign Affairs. The two Ministers discussed Issues of Bilateral Partnership and International Importance. EAM also attended the 2ndedition of the ‘Paris Peace Forum’ where he participated in a High-Level Panel-Discussion on Multilateral Governance of Cyberspace. He also called on the French President on the sidelines of the Forum. EAM later addressed a Gathering of Prominent Business Representatives and Think-Tank Members and gave an Interview to French daily newspaper Le Monde.

23-24 October 2019 - Minister of State for External Affairs, Shri V. Muraleedharan, visited Reunion Island along with a Business Delegation to participate in a Summit Meeting on ‘Regional Economic Integration in the Indo-Pacific’ organized by France. He held conversations with several French Ministers and also called on French President, Mr. Emmanuel Macron.

7-10 October 2019 - RakshaMantri, Shri Rajnath Singh, visited Paris for the second bilateral Ministerial-Level Annual Defence Dialogue with his Counterpart, Ms. Florence Parly, France’s Minister for the Armed Forces. During the visit, RM also called on the French President, Mr. Emmanuel Macron, and interacted with Heads of Key French Defence Industry Enterprises. RM also visited Bordeaux to attend the Handing Over Ceremony of the first Rafale Fighter Aircraft to be acquired from France under the Inter-Governmental Contract signed in September 2016. He also visited select Defence Industry Sites in France.

30 November-1 December 2018 - Visit to Le Puy and Lyon of Dr. G. Parmeshwara, Deputy Chief Minister of Karnataka & Minister for Bengaluru Development, for a Study Tour on Municipal Solid Waste Management.

21-23 October 2018 - Smt. Harsimrat Kaur Badal, Minister for Food Processing Industry, inaugurated the Biennial Food Innovation Exhibition, 'SIAL', at Paris-Nord Villepinte (Paris Region). The Meghalaya Chief Minister, Shri Sangma, visited Paris on this occasion as also a delegation from the State of Manipur. Minister Badal had a bilateral meeting with the French Minister of Agriculture, Mr. Didier Guillaume, on 21October 2018 at Paris-Nord Villepinteon the opening day of the Fair. The Minister delivered the opening address at the 5th edition of the ‘France-India Agri-Business & Food Processing Industries’ Conference organized by the India-France Chamber of Commerce and Industry on 22October 2018.

11-12 October 2018 - Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman, Defence Minister, attended in Paris the 1st‘Ministerial Meeting of the Bilateral Annual Defence Dialogue between India & France’ along with the French Minister of Armed Forces, Ms. Florence Parly.

4-6 October 2018 - Visit to France of a 7-Member Delegation led by Shri M.C. Sampath, Minister for Industries, Govt. of Tamil Nadu, to promote the 2nd ‘Global Investors' Summit' on 23-24 January2019 in Chennai

27September 2018 - Shri Sa. Ra. Mahesh, Minister for Tourism & Sericulture, Govt. of Karnataka, visited the 40th Annual International Event for the French Travel Market 'IFTM Top Resa' in Paris.

18-20 September 2018 - Shri Chaudhry Birendra Singh, Union Minister of Steel, attended the Ministerial Meeting of GFSEC at the OECD Headquarters in Paris.

29-30 August 2018 - Visit to France of a 4-Member Delegation led by Shri K.J. George, Minister of IT and Large and Medium Size Industry, Govt. of Karnataka

18-19 June 2018 - Visit to Paris of Smt. Sushma Swaraj, External Affairs Minister, to name the Indian Cultural Center

31May-4 June 2018 - Visit to France of Shri Suresh Prabhu, Minister of Commerce, Industry and Civil Aviation, for an Informal Gathering of WTO Trade Ministers on the Sidelines of the OECD Ministerial Council Meeting in Paris. The Minister called on Mr. Laurent Fabius, President of the Constitutional Council and also met Ms. Elisabeth Borne, Minister of Transport, to discuss Cooperation on Issues of Bilateral Importance. Shri Suresh Prabhu visited the Airbus Manufacturing Facility and also saw the IndiGo Passenger Planes being built at Toulouse. He finally had discussions with Mr. FatihBirol, Executive Director, International Energy Agency, on Issues regarding the World Energy Security.

22May 2018 - Visit of Shri PonnaiahAyyapanRadhakrishnan, Minister of State for Finance and Shipping, to Monaco for Meetings with the Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Minister of Finance and Industry

12December 2017 - Visit of Shri R.K. Singh, Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Power and New & Renewable Energy, for the ‘One Planet Summit’ organized by the French Foreign Office in Boulogne-Billancourt (Paris Region)

7-8 November 2017 - Visit of Shri R.K. Singh, Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Power and New & Renewable Energy, for the ‘2017 International Energy Agency Ministerial Meeting’ at the International Energy Agency in Paris

23-24 October 2017 - Visit of Shri C.R. Chaudhary, Minister of State of Commerce and Industry, for the 17th Session of the India-France Joint Commission Meeting in Paris

19-23 June 2017 - Visit of Shri Priyank Kharge, Minister of Tourism & Information Technology, Govt. of Karnataka for the ‘Paris Air Show’

19-23 June 2017 - Visit of Shri Prakash Pant, Minister of Finance, Govt. of Uttarakhand, to participate at the ‘India Skill Week’ in Paris

8 June 2017 - Visit of Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman, Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Commerce & Industry, to take part at the Ministerial Meeting for WTO Negotiations on the sidelines of the OECD Ministerial Council Meeting in Paris

6-7 June 2017 - Visit of Shri Arun Jaitley, Finance Minister, for the Annual OECD Ministerial Council Meeting in Paris

17-20 October 2016 - Visit of Dr. SubashBhambre, Minister of State (Defence Production), for ‘Euronaval’ Defence Exhibition.  During his visit, he also called on French Defence Minister, Mr. Jean-Yves Le Drian.

18-20 October 2016 - Visit of Smt. Harsimrat Kaur Badal, Minister of Food Processing Industries, during the ‘SIAL’ Food Fair in Paris.  She met French Minister of Agriculture, Food& Forest, Mr. Stéphane Le Foll.

1-5 September 2016 - Visit of Smt. Smriti Zubin Irani, Minister of Textiles, to Paris during the ‘Who’s Next & Première Classe’ Textile & Garments Exhibition. She met Mr. Marc-Antoine Jamet, Secretary General, LVMH, the French luxury goods group.

1-2 June 2016 - Visit of Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman, Minister of State (Independent Charge), Commerce and Industry, to attend the Informal Gathering of the WTO Ministers on the margins of the OECD Ministerial Council Meeting in Paris

11-12 April 2016 - Visit of Shri Suresh Prabhu, Minister of Railways, to discuss the possible Areas of Cooperation between India and France in the Railway Sector. The Minister also addressed the ‘Emerging Forum’ organized by the Banque de France in Paris. He met Minister of State for Railways, Mr. Alain Vidalies, and also paid a courtesy call on Mr. Laurent Fabius, President of the Constitutional Council of France.

5-6 October 2015 - Visit of Shri Venkaiah Naidu, Minister of Urban Development, to Bordeaux to attend a Global Intelligent Transportation Summit. During his visit, he also met France’s Minister of the Environment, Energy and Marine Affairs, Ms. Ségolène Royal, in Paris.


Source: Embassy of India, Paris (updated till 2 July 2021)