French Ambassador to India Alexandre Ziegler (File photo)
French Ambassador to India Alexandre Ziegler (File photo)

Investment in aerospace, defence sectors will boost India-France strategic partnership, says Ambassador Alexandre Ziegler

ANI | Updated: Jun 18, 2019 21:48 IST

Paris [France], June 18 (ANI): More investments in the field of defence and aerospace will boost the strategic partnership between India and France, Alexandre Ziegler, French Ambassador to India, said here on Tuesday (local time).
Speaking on the second day of the Paris Air Show, the Ambassador said: "I look forward to supporting all your efforts in the establishment of long-term and win-win cooperation in the aerospace and defence sectors."
"French aviation and defence industries have chosen India and will invest in this goal. This choice was evident at the Aero India air show in Bangalore last February. With 49 French companies present, and a lot of military and civilian aircraft, France was, by far, the foremost foreign participant in the exhibition," he said.
Ziegler added: "French industrial facilities in India, big and small, which we are strongly supporting, are indeed flourishing, and this is good news, especially because more and more Indian companies are also investing in France, like for instance Motherson, which is here with us today."
"We are also strongly supporting this investment from India in France as our strategic partnership is a two-way partnership, between partners and friends."
The Ambassador further noted that France is India's "oldest strategic partner and a significant one for defence and aerospace equipment, not just as a supplier but as a true partner."
As a matter of fact, Make in India has been a reality for the French industry for many years, particularly for defence equipment such as helicopters, missiles, submarines, aircraft engines, and others, he said.
"Our relations in this area date back to India's Independence and are being continuously strengthened. Today our strategic partnership is the strongest and closest we have in the Asia-Pacific region," Ziegler added.
He further said that this strategic partnership was enhanced even further by French President Emmanuel Macron's state visit to India in March last year.
"This visit was a great success in many respect and was one of the areas of convergence of views between our leaders was the necessity to strengthen our manufacturing partners in the industrial sector, particularly, in aerospace and defence," the ambassador added.
"This political support at the highest level of both States provided the industries of both countries the best possible high-level framework for deepening their industrial relations in defence as well as the civilian aerospace sectors. You can count on our full political support for this and we are looking forward to furthering exchanges with the new Indian government in this respect," he said.
He also said that Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne, French Minister of State for Europe and Foreign Affairs, was in New Delhi last week to discuss the next possible steps in the strategic partnership between the two countries with External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and other dignitaries of the Indian government.
The first Indo-French Defence camp -- Aerospace Cooperation seminar -- was held on April 16, 2018, in India by GIFAS, the French Aerospace Industries Association, and the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII). Companies from both countries participated in the event.
Most importantly, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has accepted an invitation from President Macron to attend the outreach session of G7 Summit in France as a special invitee at the end of August. The event will, of course, also include a bilateral Indo-French component, the Ambassador said. (ANI)