India and France have traditionally been countries that are close and on friendly terms with each other. There is a centuries-old history of commercial relations between both countries. France had a colonial presence in India in the form of Puducherry from the seventeenth century to 1954. Puducherry is also a popular travel destination for French visitors to the country.
The strategic partnership was established in 1998 and since then the two nations have seen huge advancement in several areas of mutual cooperation via periodic exchanges at the head of state levels. There has also been growing business exchanges including in the important areas of defence, space and nuclear energy. After the waiver by the IAEA and the Nuclear Suppliers’ Group (NSG), the first nation with which India entered into a nuclear energy agreement was France. This facilitated India’s resumption of civil nuclear cooperation with the global community.