France’s Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs Catherine Colonna will meet senior officials and business representatives in India on her three-day official visit to the country this week with focus on strengthening ties across trade, defence, climate, migration and mobility, education and health sectors, the Ministry of External Affairs has said.

Colonna will hold talks with External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on September 14 on bilateral, regional and international issues of mutual interest, the MEA statement pointed out.

“India and France have a long-standing strategic partnership, strengthened by regular high level consultations and growing convergences in various areas,” the statement said.

The visit will deepen and expand the Indo-French strategic partnership ahead of its 25th anniversary next year, per an official release issued by the French Embassy in India.

Indo-French relations

 “In a year that marks the 75th anniversary of Indo-French diplomatic relations, Minister Colonna will highlight France’s belief that our trust-based strategic partnership is our best asset to continue boosting our strategic autonomy and uphold a multipolar rules-based world order. In this respect, Minister Colonna will convey France’s full support to India’s upcoming G20 presidency,” the release said.

Colonna will call on Prime Minister Narendra Modi and meet National Security Adviser on Wednesday, the French Embassy release added. “The French Foreign Affairs Minister will also meet Ajit Doval, National Security Adviser to Prime Minister, for discussions on regional and global security issues, strengthened defence cooperation, as well as the implementation of France’s counter-terrorism cooperation with India, which is hosting the `No Money for Terror’ conference this year,” it said.

Indian investors

On Thursday, the Minister is scheduled to meet with leading Indian investors with business interests in France. France has been ranked as the top European destination for FDI for the third year in a row, the release pointed out.

The Minister will address the annual general meeting of the Indo-French Chamber of Commerce and Industry (IFCCI). “She will call upon French companies to continue investing in India’s immense potential with sustainable solutions that help meet India’s ecological transition goals and strengthen the Indo-French partnership for the planet,” it said.