PM Modi's France visit: Ambitious outcomes likely on defence, space and infrastructure
The visit coincides with the 25th anniversary of the India-France Strategic Partnership
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s upcoming visit to France on July 13-14, 2023 is expected to be high on both symbolism and substance with meetings lined up with President Emmanuel Macron and other top French leaders in addition to prominent names from business and industry.
According to people in the know, ambitious outcomes are likely on defence, space, geostrategy, infrastructure, energy, climate action, museology, student mobility, people to people, sports, and culture. At the same time, the leaders are expected to discuss close collaboration not just on bilateral issues but also on what the two countries can do on global issues.
Significantly, the visit coincides with the 25th anniversary of the India-France Strategic Partnership. France is a key Strategic Partner for India and one of the earliest. Prime Minister Modi's visit is an opportunity to the chart way forward for the next 25 years, coinciding with the 100th anniversary of India's independence in 2047.
Prime Minister Modi will be the Guest of Honour at the Bastille Day celebrations on July 14. A tri-services contingent from India, including Indian Air Force (IAF) aircraft, has already reached Paris to participate in the event.
The French National Day, or Bastille Day, occupies a special place in French consciousness. This day commemorates the Storming of the Bastille Prison in 1789 during the French Revolution.
The Bastille Day Parade is the highlight of the Bastille Day Celebrations and is akin to India's Republic Day Parade. However, foreign leaders being invited as a Guest of Honour for Bastille Day is not common. The last time was 2017, when US President Donald Trump was invited. "Even rarer is having foreign marching contingents and foreign aircraft participate in it," an official remarked.
GREAT PERSONAL CHEMISTRY
Prime Minister Modi and President Macron enjoy great personal chemistry. The visit will see special gestures by President Macron which include multiple meetings and presence with Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne, particularly a private dinner and joint meeting with CEOs. The French President will also host the Indian Prime Minister at the State Banquet at the iconic Louvre Museum in Paris on Bastille Day.
Prime Minister Modi's engagements will include Interactions with the entire political leadership of France, including President Macron, Prime Minister Borne and the Presidents of the Senate (Upper House) and National Assembly (Lower House).
The visit will also see a strong focus on trade and economy with a CEO Forum comprising big names from the Indian and French sides.
The schedule for Prime Minister Modi's visit includes interacting with prominent French personalities and attending the prestigious La Seine Musicale with the Indian community. Prime Minister Modi's visit has been preceded by numerous activities organized by the Indian Embassy in Paris, including the Namaste France event earlier this week.