Chandigarh: India and France committed themselves to closer ties, especially in business and combating terrorism, just hours after French President Francois Hollande began his three-day visit to India here on Sunday and Prime Minister Narendra Modi broke protocol to welcome him.
Addressing the India-France Business Summit, PM Modi said India and France had huge potential to work together in various fields.
PM Modi pitched for investment in India by French companies, saying India had a lot to offer in terms of skilled workforce and as a market for French products. Sixteen agreements, including one to develop Chandigarh as a smart city, were signed.
“We want to work closely with France… The world has accepted India as a good investment destination. India’s talent and the manufacturing (skills) of France can achieve a lot. The trust and friendship with France is an asset for us,” PM Modi said in his address.
“India is the fastest growing economy in the world. We have the labour and the market for your products,” Modi said at the India-France chief executives meeting along with Hollande, according to a tweet by external affairs ministry spokesman Vikas Swarup.
Heres the list of the 16 agreements:
- MoU between AFD (French Development Agency) and the government of Maharashtra on technical cooperation in the field of sustainable urban development for development of smart city in Nagpur.
- MoU between AFD and the government of the union territory (UT) of Chandigarh on technical cooperation in the field of sustainable urban development for development of smart city in Chandigarh.
- MoU between AFD and the government of the UT of Puducherry on technical cooperation in the field of sustainable development for development of smart city in Puducherry.
- Wind Power Development agreement between EDF JV with SITAC RE India to jointly explore opportunities for development of wind-based power project in India.
- MoU between EPI Ltd.-Dassault Systems in urban sector development.
- MoU between EPI-Egis in urban sector development.
- MoU between EPI-Schneider Electric in urban sector development.
- MoU between EPI-Thales in urban sector development.
- MoU between EPI-EDF in urban sector development.
- MoU between EPI-Alstom in urban sector development.
- MoU between EPI-SA CAN in urban sector development.
- MoU between EPI-Lumiplan ITS India Pvt. Ltd. in urban sector development.
- MoU between EPI-POMA in urban sector development.
- Agreement between CEA (French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission) and Green Ventures in solar photovoltaic projects in the rural areas (Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh).
- Agreement between CEA and Crompton Greaves to explore opportunities in solar photovoltaic system with storage function for Indian airports.
- Mahindra-Airbus cooperation to create the new private strategic partner for helicopters within the Make in India initiative.
Hollande is to be chief guest at India’s 67th Republic Day parade in New Delhi on Tuesday.
Business and economic ties were a vital component of India-French ties. “Had a fruitful meeting with CEOs in Chandigarh,” PM Modi tweeted, adding that he had met Hollande five times in the past year.
“Defence, green economy, smart cities, infrastructure, transportation, water and financial sector on the agenda of the Indo-French CEO’s Forum,” Vikas Swarup tweeted.
CEOs of 25 Indian and French companies attended the business summit. Modi earlier received Hollande at the Rock Garden, after the French President flew into the city created by French architect Le Corbusier to start his three-day official visit to India.
“Glad to welcome Hollande in the city built by the great Le Corbusier,” PM Modi had tweeted.
At the Rock Garden, PM Modi and President Hollande greeted each other with a warm handshake and a hug.
Both took a round of a section of the Rock Garden, which was created entirely from waste material by its founder Nek Chand.
They then proceeded towards the Capitol Complex, designed and built by Corbusier, and the Government Museum and Art Gallery in Sector 10.
Earlier, Hollande was received at the Chandigarh airport by Haryana governor Kaptan Singh Solanki, Haryana chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar and Chandigarh MP Kirron Kher besides senior officers.
“A warm welcome to Hollande. We are honoured and delighted to have him as chief guest for Republic Day celebrations,” PM Modi said earlier. “We will build on the ground covered during our previous interactions.”
Hollande was given a colourful welcome at the airport by ‘Gidda’ and ‘Bhangra’ dancers of Punjab.
The French president headed from the airport to Hotel Taj, where he stayed (in between) during his nearly six-hour stopover in the city.
Chandigarh was put under maximum security cover ahead of the arrival of the French president.