New Delhi: India-France collaboration is advancing innovation and technology across defence, space, and sustainability, Thales India Chief, Ashish Saraf said as French President Emmanuel Macron arrived in India on Thursday as the chief guest for the 75th Republic Day.

In an exclusive interview with ANI, Ashish Saraf, vice president and country director for India, Thales Group, said India and France enjoy a robust bilateral relationship rooted in shared values and aspirations.

Thales takes pride in its enduring partnership with India, spanning over seven decades and contributing significantly to growth, he said.

The Indian market, particularly in defence, aviation, digital identity, and security solutions, provides ample opportunities for Thales. President Macron's presence as the chief guest at the Republic Day celebration underscores the deep ties between the two nations, highlighting the strong connection among governments, businesses, and people.

Saraf, who leads all of Thales's business activities in India as well as Thales's partnerships, including joint ventures and engineering competence centres, said collaboration between India and France spans key areas such as defence, space, cybersecurity, aviation, and topics related to renewables and sustainability.

The bilateral meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and French President Macron promises extensive bilateral collaboration, marked by agreements fostering technological advancements.

Thales stated that it takes pride in delivering to India cutting-edge technologies and innovations, contributing to the mutual growth of both nations.

Saraf said Thales thrives in India's market, spearheading growth in defence, aviation, and security solutions. With a robust presence in India, Thales operates successfully in defence, aviation, digital identity, and security solutions, employing over 2000 professionals, including 1500 engineers.

Emphasising local partnerships, Thales collaborates with 75 suppliers, delivering cutting-edge technologies to India. Celebrating seven decades of participation in India's growth story, recent milestones include the inauguration of a state-of-the-art facility in Bangalore and the launch of an Avionics MRO centre in Delhi, NCR.

Committed to Make in India and Atmanirbhar Bharat, Thales has been expanding its footprint through joint ventures, contributing to the global defence sector. The company's investments in India's supply chain ecosystem, totalling 750 Mn euros in the last five years, reflect a dedication to fostering growth and creating over 5,000 direct and indirect jobs.

Thales stated that it looks forward to a continued and expansive role in India's flourishing future.