Smart cities in spotlight as French Minister visits India

India – Bilateral relations – Communiqué issued by the Ministry of the Economy and Finance (excerpts)

Paris, 28 October 2016

During his visit to India from 25 to 27 October 2016, M. Christophe Sirugue, Minister of State for Industry, discussed with his interlocutors economic relations with France and the development of the Franco-Indian industrial partnership. He also promoted France’s attractiveness to Indian investors.

During the visit to New Delhi, the Minister of State for Industry had a meeting with the Minister of State for Commerce and Industry, Ms Nirmala Sitharaman, and the Minister of Urban Development, Mr Venkaiah Naidu.

The agenda of the meetings includes the French offer on sustainable development, particularly in the areas of transport and energy. Indeed, developing smart cities of tomorrow which address the major environmental, digital and demographic challenges is one of the key objectives of the New Face of Industry in France and the Alliance for the Industry of the Future.

The Indian government is developing a policy of urban development based on the media concept of the “smart city”. The programme selects 100 cities making active efforts on sustainable development for a €6-billion investment over five years, covering sectors related to sustainable development (transport, health, energy and waste management).

Another key objective of the meetings was Franco-Indian industrial partnerships, in the framework of the government programme “Make in India”. The Minister of State went to meet Indian and French businesses and investors.

Christophe Sirugue spoke to the Chamber of Commerce and Industry France India on the theme “Why smart investors choose France”, to promote the French marketplace to Indian investors.

As an operator of French official development assistance, the French Development Agency (AFD) has been present in India since 2008. The assistance, which amounts to €300 million, is focused on railways (three metro systems), urban transport, water and urban sanitation, as well as renewable energy.

Christophe Sirugue’s visit comes after the state visit in January, organized on the occasion of India’s national festival (26 January), at which France was the guest of honour.

During his visit, M. Christophe Sirugue, Minister of State for Industry, went to Chennai to visit the Renault-Nissan factory, before visiting Saint-Gobain’s research centre. (…)./.

Published on 03/11/2016

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