Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari met with a group of French industrialists led by France Ambassador Emmanuel Lenain at Transport Bhawan in New Delhi on Tuesday.
During the meeting, the two sides discussed potential collaboration on innovative technologies for constructing world-class infrastructure at the lowest possible cost, according to a statement from Nitin Gadkari’s office. With the French group of industrialists, Union Minister also reviewed new potential areas like as ropeways, alternative fuels, and construction materials.
“Discussions were related to potential collaboration on new technologies for developing world-class infrastructure and optimal cost. New opportunity areas like Ropeways, Alternative Fuels and Construction materials were also discussed,” Office Of Nitin Gadkari tweeted.
During the meeting, the Members of the Embassy of France in India and the officers of the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways were also present.
Besides, the French delegation also held a seminar in the national capital on Sustainable urban development in collaboration with the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs.
“France is India’s top partner to make India’s booming cities greener & more inclusive. The excellent discussions at this seminar have shown how French funding, companies & expertise together with Indian partners can build the sustainable city of the future,” French Ambassador Emmanuel Lenain tweeted.
India and France have always enjoyed cordial relations. Apart from a tight and expanding bilateral connection, the two nations entered into a Strategic Partnership in 1998, which is illustrative of their convergence of views on a variety of international problems.
The two countries’ economic interdependence is growing. French enterprises and industry have established links with the Indian economy, considerably contributing to our aim of becoming an Atmanirbhar Bharat.
Over 1,000 French companies operate in India, covering a wide range of industries including defence, ITES, consultancy, technical services, and heavy industry.
France is the 7th largest foreign investor in India with a cumulative FDI stock of USD 9 billion from April 2, 2000, to December 2020, which represents 2 per cent of the total FDI inflows into India.
Although India has a trade surplus, India-France bilateral trade remains far below potential. In the period April 2018-March 2019, India-France bilateral trade stood at 11.59 billion Euro, India’s exports to France were valued at 6.23 billion Euro meanwhile, French exports to India stood at 5.35 billion Euro.
The 18th Joint Economic Committee meeting, held virtually between the two countries on 27 November 2020, led to the signing of a bilateral ‘Fast Track Mechanism’ for investors. The first meetings were held on 16 February 2022 between E/I, Paris and the French Treasury and on 25 February 2022 between Secretary, DPIIT and the French Ambassador, in Paris and Delhi, respectively.
Commerce and Industries Minister Piyush Goyal also held a virtual conference for French businesses in February 2021, whereby a dedicated desk was set up by Invest India for investor queries. In recent interactions at the EU level, India has sought an early harvest trade agreement, while working towards a comprehensive FTA.