French president Macron to visit India on March 9
French President Emmanuel Macron will pay a four-day visit to India from March 9 during which he would discuss the economic, political and strategic ties between the two countries, a statement by the Ministry of External Affairs said today.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will hold delegation-level talks with the French president on March 10.
The leaders will co-chair the Founding Conference of the International Solar Alliance (ISA) a day later. The initiative to form the ISA for harnessing solar energy was taken by Modi and Macron's predecessor François Hollande, it said.
The French president's spouse Brigitte Marie-Claude Macron will also accompany him.
The last visit of the French president to India was in January 2016 when Macron was the chief guest at the Republic Day celebrations that year. Modi last visited France in June 2017, immediately after Macron was elected to office.
India-France strategic partnership, established in 1998, is one of the most important and comprehensive bilateral engagements.
"We have enhanced and 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 urbanisation, S&T cooperation, and youth exchanges.
"The visit of President Macron is aimed at strengthening the economic, political and strategic dimension of our bilateral engagement," the statement by the MEA said.
The bilateral trade between India and France for the period April, 2016 to March, 2017 reached $10.95 billion.
France is the 9th largest foreign investor in India with a cumulative investment of USD 6.09 billion from April 2000 to October 2017.
Close to 1,000 French companies are present in India and about 120 Indian companies have invested in excess of Euro 1 billion in France and employ close to 7,000 people.
The India-France CEO's Forum will also take place during Macron's visit to India, the 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.