Second India-France Strategic Space Dialogue: India, France Reaffirm Commitment Towards Leveraging Space Cooperation

Foreign Affairs

New Delhi: The second India-France Strategic Space Dialogue, held in New Delhi on March 4, 2024, marked another significant milestone in the collaborative efforts between the two nations in the space domain. The strategic space dialogue between the two countries underscored the growing importance of space cooperation in bilateral relations.

During the dialogue, both sides conducted a comprehensive review of the progress achieved since the inaugural India-France Strategic Space Dialogue. Led by Foreign Secretary Vinay Kwatra from India and Secretary General of the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs, Anne-Marie Descôtes from France, the deliberations focused on the substantial advancements made in bilateral engagement within the space sector and explored avenues for further collaboration, both at the government-to-government (G2G) level and in commercial endeavours.

A key focus of the discussions revolved around the implementation of the recently signed Letter of Intent on Defence Space Cooperation. This agreement symbolises a deepening of ties between India and France in utilising space capabilities for defence purposes. Additionally, the dialogue encompassed discussions on capacity building, training initiatives, and space exchanges aimed at fostering mutual learning and expertise enhancement.

Both countries, recognising the significance of industrial cooperation in the defence space sector, explored avenues for strengthening collaboration in this domain. The exchange of expertise and technological know-how is poised to contribute significantly to the development of defence capabilities in both nations. Moreover, the dialogue emphasised the importance of fostering a conducive environment for commercial space activities.

Acknowledging the potential for growth and innovation in the commercial space segment, both India and France expressed their commitment to facilitating partnerships and investments to harness this potential effectively. The inaugural India-France Strategic Space Dialogue in 2023 had identified key areas for cooperation. These include joint-satellite missions like Trishna, Maritime Domain Awareness, payload accommodation, ground station support, and human spaceflight.

As a strategic pillar of their bilateral relationship, the second India-France Strategic Space Dialogue reaffirmed the shared commitment of both nations towards leveraging space cooperation. Through sustained dialogue and collaborative initiatives, India and France are poised to unlock new frontiers in space exploration and innovation while strengthening their longstanding partnership in the domain of science and technology.