10 April, Paris
Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrived in the French capital, Paris Thursday night. He was received at the airport by Thierry Braillard, Minister of State for Sports of France.
A large number of Indian community members also greeted Modi on his arrival. France is the first destination of Mr Modi’s three-nation tour. Later he will visit Germany and Canada.
During the visit of the Prime Minister, economic cooperation in key strategic sectors is high on the agenda.
After a ceremonial reception this morning, Modi will have talks with business leaders of select French companies in defence and infrastructure sectors. He will address the UNESCO and will meet the French President and senior political leaders. Several important announcements regarding bilateral cooperation in key areas are expected later in the day.
Tomorrow, Modi will visit some high-tech facilities including aviation major, Airbus and the French Space agency, CNES at the southern town of Toulouse. He will then go to Neuve Chappelle at the northern city of Lille to pay homage to thousands of Indian soldiers who laid down their lives during the First World War. Mr Modi will also address a gathering of Indian community tomorrow. He will leave for Germany on Sunday.
Earlier, the India-France CEO Forum has decided to form four Taskforces in the areas of Infrastructure financing, Energy, Life sciences and Water, waste water and waste to energy. This was disclosed by Mr Dhruv Sawhney, Co-chair of the Forum and leader of Indian delegation yesterday in Paris after the day long deliberations of the Forum.
Sawhbey said the members of the Taskforces will be chosen from amongst the companies that are eligible to invest in each other’s country. The Taskforces will come out with concrete steps for enhancing two-way investments between India and France.
The other areas that were deliberated include Make in India, green economy, agro and food processing. Describing the outcome of the meeting as extraordinary, Mr Sawhney said, French companies appreciated positive changes in ease of doing business in India in recent months.
From Indian side CEOs of several large companies including the ADAG, Essar, Bharat Forge, Hindustan Aeronotics while from the French side, about 25 companies including Capegimini, Alstom, Airbus and Areva participated in the meeting of the Forum.
The deliberations of the India-France CEO Forum will be presented by the Co-chairs jointly to the President of France and Indian Prime Minister this evening. The deliberations are being considered important in the background of a strong economic agenda for the visit of Modi to France.