"Horizon 2047" marks a strategic roadmap for India and France, aiming to strengthen their bilateral cooperation over the next 25 years, leading up to India's centenary of independence and the 50-year milestone of their strategic partnership. This initiative, unveiled during Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to Paris, covers a wide array of sectors, including defence, climate change, energy transition, and more, resting on three pillars: Partnership for Security and Sovereignty, Partnership for the Planet, and Partnership for the People.
Defence remains a central focus, with France being a significant arms supplier to India. The recent procurement of 26 Rafale jets exemplifies this. Collaborations in military aviation, joint development of combat aircraft engines, and the Indian Multi Role Helicopter (IMRH) program highlight the depth of this partnership. Maritime security under the SAGAR vision and initiatives like IONS and ReCAAP further strengthen this bond.
Shared Indo-Pacific Vision
Both countries share a broad vision of the Indo-Pacific, underpinning their cooperation in the region. The Indo-Pacific Triangular Cooperation (IPTDC) Fund and involvement in initiatives like the Indian Ocean Rim Association reflect their commitment to regional stability and prosperity.
Strategic Autonomy in Foreign Policy
India and France value independence in foreign policy. France's support during India's nuclearization and the establishment of a strategic partnership in 1998 underpin this mutual understanding. This approach is evident in their handling of global issues, including differing stances on the Russia-Ukraine conflict.
India and France advocate for reformed global governance, focusing on Security Council reforms and enhanced African representation. Their commitment to the Paris agenda underscores their dedication to sustainable development and environmental protection.
Combating Climate Change
Addressing climate change is a shared priority, with a focus on low-carbon transitions and renewable energy sources. Initiatives like the International Solar Alliance and the Indo-Pacific Parks Partnership reflect their commitment to sustainable development and biodiversity.
Technology and Space Collaboration
Scientific and technological cooperation is crucial, facilitated by the India-France Joint Strategic Committee. Collaborations in digital technologies, health, and space — including the TRISHNA mission and Gaganyaan program — showcase their commitment to progress and innovation.
Trade and Economic Ties
Trade and investment are key facets of the partnership. Despite France being a significant investor, the potential for growth in bilateral trade remains untapped. The EU-India Free Trade Agreement could be pivotal in realizing this potential.
People to People Ties
Cultural and educational exchanges are vital, with France aiming to attract more Indian students and both countries promoting linguistic and artistic cooperation. Enhancing consular services and facilitating people-to-people ties remain a priority.
"Horizon 2047" serves as a comprehensive blueprint for an enhanced India-France partnership, encompassing security, environmental sustainability, technological advancement, and cultural exchange. It promises to elevate the bilateral relationship to new heights, contributing significantly to global stability and prosperity.