Emmanuel Macron on four-day India visit from 9 March1 min read . Updated: 02 Mar 2018, 06:37 AM IST
The centrepiece of French President Emmanuel Macron's India visit will be his co-chairing of International Solar Alliance with PM Narendra Modi
New Delhi: President Emmanuel Macron of France will visit India on a four-day trip starting 9 March, the foreign ministry said in a statement. The centrepiece of the visit will be his co-chairing of the International Solar Alliance (ISA) with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Macron’s visit comes two years after the last visit by a French President, Francois Hollande, who was chief guest at the Republic Day parade in 2016.
Modi visited France in June 2017 and held talks with Macron, just a month after the latter’s election. The two leaders will hold bilateral talks on 10 March while the founding conference of the ISA will take place on 11 March.
“India-France strategic partnership, established in 1998, is one of the most important and comprehensive bilateral engagements and is marked by intense and frequent high level exchanges and deep political understanding," the Indian foreign ministry statement said.
“We have enhanced our ongoing cooperation in the defence, maritime, space, security, and energy-related sectors, and are increasingly working together on all issues of concern including terrorism, climate change, sustainable growth and development, infrastructure, smart urbanization, science and technology cooperation," the statement said.
“The visit of President Macron is aimed at strengthening the bilateral economic, political and strategic dimension of our engagement," it added.
Trade between India and France in 2016-17 touched $10.95 billion with France listed as the ninth largest foreign investor in India with a cumulative investment of $6.09 billion from April 2000 to October 2017, according to Indian government figures.
There are about 1,000 French companies present in India while some 120 Indian companies have invested in excess of 1 billion euros in France and employ close to 7,000 people, the foreign ministry statement said.
“The visit is also aimed at forging not only strong manufacturing and technology partnerships, but also greater people to people contacts especially through greater exchanges of students and researchers," it added.