France and Indo-Pacific
France’s Indo-Pacific strategy reflects the growing intensity of the exchanges between France and the States of the Indo-Pacific region. France is present in the Indo-Pacific through its overseas territories, its businesses, its institutions, its embassy network, its development agencies, and its cultural and academic institutions.
France is committed to working alongside its partners in the Indo-Pacific region. The French strategy aims to increase this presence and to better coordinate the actions taken.
France maintains a very important diplomatic network in the Indo-Pacific, the most extensive among the member countries of the European Union, in order to act and exchange with the greatest number of local decision-makers.
In 2020, France created the position of Ambassador for the Indo-Pacific.
Trade and investments
The economies of the Indo-Pacific region now represent nearly 60% of global GDP, and trade between France and the Indo-Pacific is only increasing. The markets of the Indo-Pacific are attractive to French companies that export and invest there.
In 2023, French investment in the Indo-Pacific was estimated at €108 billion and nearly 14% of foreign investments in France came from Indo-Pacific investors. Today, China, Japan, and India are France’s main trading partners in the Indo-Pacific, but others exist throughout the Indo-Pacific zone ; Business France supports this dynamic.
France is committed to the Indo-Pacific region to ensure freedom of navigation, and the French navy regularly navigates in the South China Sea and conducts joint exercises with its partners.
Some of the largest importers of French military equipment are also located in the Indo-Pacific region. The French military industry is developing new partnerships with Indo-pacific stakeholders.
France is also present in the Indo-Pacific through its various research institutes that cooperate with local organizations and work on topics related to health, biodiversity, heritage preservation, economics, and social sciences.
Numerous research projects are conducted jointly between French and Indo-Pacific organizations, particularly for EU funded projects. The Indo-Pacific strategy of France aims to increase these research initiatives.
France is one of the main actors in development assistance in the Indo-Pacific region.
In the Indo-Pacific region, French development actors prioritize projects related to environmental changes, poverty reduction and access to healthcare, as well as governance.
France remains a major cultural actor in the Indo-Pacific, particularly through the Francophonie, which brings together States that have French as an official or co-official language, and states that are interested in learning this language. The challenge is to continue to attract new learners and increase the number of Indo-Pacific students in French universities, notably through Campus France.
This requires new agreements with universities in the Indo-Pacific.