Fri, 01 Dec 2023

New Delhi [India], September 27 (ANI): Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari on Tuesday held a bilateral meeting with the delegation of French Industrialists led by France Ambassador Emmanuel Lenain at Transport Bhawan in New Delhi.

During the meeting, the two sides held discussions on potential collaboration on new technologies for developing world-class infrastructure and optimal cost, the Office of Nitin Gadkari said in a statement.

Union Minister also discussed new opportunity areas like Ropeways, Alternative Fuels and Construction materials with the French delegation of Industrialists.

"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 greenermore inclusive. The excellent discussions at this seminar have shown how French funding, companiesexpertise together with Indian partners can build the sustainable city of the future," French Ambassador Emmanuel Lenain tweeted.

India and France have traditionally had close and friendly relations. In 1998, the two countries entered into a Strategic Partnership which is emblematic of their convergence of views on a range of international issues apart from a close and growing bilateral relationship.

The two countries have a burgeoning economic relationship. French businesses and industry have forged linkages with the Indian economy and contribute significantly to our goal to become an Atmanirbhar Bharat.

There are over 1,000 French businesses in India in variegated sectors such as defence, ITES, consulting, engineering 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. (ANI)

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