New Delhi (NVI): India and France today explored ways to strengthen cooperation in the Indo-Pacific, including the India-France-Australia Trilateral mechanism, addressing emerging challenges in the maritime and space domains and working together in the area of climate action and biodiversity protection.
French minister Jean-Yves Le Drian, who is on a four-day visit to India, held discussions with External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on boosting cooperation in diverse sectors like defence, security, energy and climate change.
The ministry said that bilateral trade with France has witnessed a steady rise in the last decade reaching USD 10.75 billion in 2020.
“To tap the full potential of bilateral trade and economic relations, both sides recognised the importance of fast tracking the discussions on an India-EU trade and investment agreement,” it added.
In the context of the changes in a Covid-impacted world, both Ministers recognised the immense opportunities for greater collaboration in diverse sectors such as trade and investments, defence and security, health, education, research and innovation, energy and climate change, the ministry said.
“They explored ways to strengthen cooperation in the Indo-Pacific, including the India-France-Australia Trilateral mechanism, addressing emerging challenges in the maritime and space domains and working together in the area of climate action and biodiversity protection. In this regard, India welcomes France’s decision to take up the “Maritime Resources” pillar of India’s Indo-Pacific Oceans Initiative (IPOI),” the ministry said.
“The two leaders also held discussions on a number of regional and global issues of mutual interest reiterating their shared commitment to a multipolar world and faith in multilateralism,” it added.
Le Drian will be participating along with the Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Prakash Javadekar at a panel discussion on Climate Change in Delhi.
He will also participate in the Raisina Dialogue. He will be visiting the National Centre for Biological Sciences and ISRO in Bengaluru on April 15, 2021.