Your Excellency, President Emmanuel Macron,
Respected delegations from India and France,
First of all, I express my heartfelt thanks to my close friend President Macron. He welcomed me and my delegation to this historic heritage site with a very grand and very affectionate welcome. This is a memorable moment for me. President Macron’s invitation to the G7 Summit is an example of the strategic partnership between India and France and his friendly gesture towards me. Today we had very detailed discussions and the agenda of the G7 Summit, which is headed by France, should be a complete success and it is India’s resolve to extend the cooperation that is expected from India in this regard. Be it biodiversity, climate change, or the issues of cooling and gas, for centuries India has been advocating to live in a cultured way with traditions and in harmony with the nature. Destruction of nature can never be beneficial for human welfare and when it is the theme of this G7 Summit then it is a moment of even more happiness for India.
India and France have centuries old relations. Our friendship is not based on any selfish reasons but on the solid ideals of ‘Liberty, Equality and Fraternity.’ This is the reason why India and France have shoulder to shoulder protected freedom and democracy and combated fascism and extremism. The sacrifice of thousands of Indian soldiers during the First World War is still remembered in France. Today France and India stand firmly together to face the challenges of terrorism, climate change, environment and inclusive development of technology. Both our countries have not only spoken about good things, but we have also taken concrete steps. International Solar Alliance is one such successful initiative of India and France.
For two decades, we have been on the path of strategic partnership. Today France and India are each other’s trusted partners. During our difficulties, we have understood and supported each other’s views.
Today, President Macron and I discussed all the aspects of our relationship in detail. It will be 75 years of India’s independence in the year 2022, till then we have set many goals for the New India. Our main objective is to make India a $ 5 trillion economy. India’s requirements for development present a golden opportunity for the French enterprises. We look forward to new initiatives in skill development, civil aviation, IT, space and many other areas to enhance our economic cooperation. Defense Cooperation is a strong pillar of our relationship. I am happy that we are making good progress on various projects. The first of the 36 Rafael aircrafts will be delivered to India next month. We will increase cooperation in technology and co-production. France is the first country with which we have signed the New Generation Civil Nuclear Agreement. We have urged our companies to rapidly move forward on the Jaitapur project and also keep in mind the price of electricity. It is also a matter of great pleasure that tourism is increasing from both sides. About 2.5 lakh French tourists and 7 lakh Indian tourists visit each other’s country every year. The exchange of students in the field of higher education should be particularly increased. The next edition of the Indian cultural festival “Namaste France” will be held throughout France during 2021-2022. I hope that this festival will further deepen the interest of the people of France in the diverse culture of India. I know that Yoga is very popular in France. I hope that many more of my friends in France adopt it as a way of healthy lifestyle.
I had pointed out the importance of cooperation between India and France for Global Challenges. Both our countries have to constantly face terrorism and radicalization. We have received valuable French support and cooperation in combating cross-border terrorism. We thank President Macron for this. We have intended to broaden cooperation on security and counter-terrorism. We have also decided to further strengthen our growing cooperation in maritime and cyber security. I am pleased that we have agreed on a new roadmap on cyber security and digital technology. Our operational cooperation in the Indian Ocean region is growing rapidly. This cooperation will be important in ensuring security and progress for all in the region.
I wish my intimate friend President Macron, a successful leadership of G-7 and France with a new vision, enthusiasm and skill in these challenging times.
Complete cooperation and support of 1.3 billion Indians is with you in this endeavor. We both countries together can pave the way for a safe and prosperous world. I look forward to attending the G7 Summit in Biarritz and wish you and entire France many-many good wishes for the success of this summit. I once again express my gratitude for your affectionate invitation.