NEW DELHI: India will be attending the Group of 7 industrialised nations meet organised by France in Biarritz in August along with Australia, Chile and South Africa, in a sign of the recognition of India’s growing economic heft in the international arena.
According to analysts, the invitation clearly reflects the strong strategic connect between India and France.
The invitation to Australia, France and Chile besides India reflects the French emphasis on the Indian Ocean and the Pacific region, a person familiar with the developments said.
Speaking to reporters in New Delhi on Friday, the French ambassador to India Alexandre Zeigler said that one of the issues on the agenda of the G-7 meet would be fighting terrorism in cyberspace.
“Today, I would like to confirm that India is officially invited to the August (G-7) summit in France and for the preparatory meetings," Zielger said. The invite to India was extended last month and it was accepted, a second person familiar with the developments said.
The G-7 groups together the US, Britain, France, Italy, Canada, Japan and Germany.
The grouping had included Russia but it was left out following tensions with Western nations over the annexation of Crimea in 2015.
The French invite to India is not the first time India will be at this G-7 global high table. Then prime minister Manmohan Singh had attended the G-8 +5 meet in Gleneagles in Scotland in 2005 at the invitation of then British prime minister Tony Blair.
India was also included in a new grouping -- the G20 -- comprising industrialised and fast growing developing economies that took shape in the aftermath of the 2008 global economic crisis. It included India, China, South Africa and many other developing countries besides the original G-8 countries.