India and France to set up trilateral Indo-Pacific development fund to support innovators and start-ups

India and France will work to establish a trilateral Indo-Pacific development cooperation fund to support India-based innovators and start-ups.

This was decided on Wednesday by Foreign Minister S Jaishankar and his French counterpart Catherine Colonna during their bilateral meeting.

“As part of their cooperation in the Indo-Pacific, the two ministers agreed to work towards the establishment of a trilateral Indo-Pacific Development Cooperation Fund to help innovators and start-ups based in India to bring their innovations to third countries, particularly in the Indo-Pacific region, while exploring opportunities to undertake development projects within the framework of the International Solar Alliance and its STAR-C project to which the France has contributed up to one million euros,” according to a press release from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The two ministers also expressed interest in resuming cooperation under the India-France-Australia trilateral mechanism. “Ministers looked forward to the trilateral ministerial meeting to be held in New York on the sidelines of the UNGA later this month,” the statement said.

Advancing Defense Links

The French minister, who is on a three-day official visit to India, stressed her country’s interest in advancing defense cooperation. “No other country is ready to share its most advanced defense technologies with India as much as France. And we are proud to be one of your very first defense partners, not only industrially but also operational,” she said in her opening remarks at a joint press conference.

Our ambitions are also very high in the field of space, and we will soon start a new dialogue on space security issues, she said, adding that cybersecurity cooperation between the two nations was also progressing well and that our cooperation in the fight against terrorism remained very close. . “We are already doing a lot together on low carbon energy. Our Jaitapur civilian nuclear project is progressing well,” she said.

The two ministers also expressed their belief that the resumption of negotiations on the India-EU Trade and Investment Agreement and the Geographical Indicators Agreement will significantly boost bilateral trade. “The Indian side appreciated France’s efforts during its presidency of the EU Council to ensure the restart of trade negotiations. Both sides agreed that the early conclusion of the agreements would further accelerate the steady increase in bilateral trade which reached $9.87 billion during the period April 2021 – January 2022,” he added.

Both also welcomed the conclusion of new projects in the field of bilateral development cooperation, in particular the credit facility agreement between the Directorate of Economic Affairs, the Ministry of Finance and the French Development Agency (AFD) for the drinking water project in Chandigarh.

The support provided by Proparco, AFD’s private sector development subsidiary, and other European partners, to Sahyadri Farms, Maharashtra, India’s first farmer-run business, was also discussed.

Published on

September 14, 2022

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