Francois Hollande in India: Objective is to consolidate strategic ties, says France President
As he began his three-day India trip, French President Francois Hollande Sunday said the objective of his visit was to consolidate strategic partnership between the two nations.
Chandigarh: As he began his three-day India trip, French President Francois Hollande Sunday said the objective of his visit was to consolidate strategic partnership between the two nations.
He affirmed his commitment to help India in building Smart Cities, an ambitious project of Modi government.
"My visit has two main objectives: consolidate our strategic partnership, in particular for our security, with more cooperation and implement decisions taken during PM Modi's visit in France during COP21," Hollande said addressing the business summit.
Terming his visit to India as "exceptional", he said France and India were committed to take forawrd all the promises agreed upon between the two nations.
"India has launched a programme to create 100 Smart Cities. France will contribute in 3 cities with AFD France," the President said.
Hailing the Prime Minister, he said "without Modi's intervention on climate justice, there would not have been any agreement."
Impressed by Chandigarh, he said "I wish that the work of Le Corbusier, that can be admired in Chandigarh, be recognised by UNESCO."
"France wants to build with India a post-carbon world," he said referring to global worming. I trust the relationship established with Modi. We agree, our cooperation must move even faster," he said.
"France thinks that it is in India that new innovations are conceived with its young and well trained population," he said.
Noting that India is a major democracy, he said exchange of military equipment and cyber security programmes are need for protecting both India and France.
"Both India and France need to protect world from terrorism," he said adding that for the safety and security of the world the trust between the two countries must exist.
He expressed concern over the level of pollution in the world and said that it is disasterous.
He said that 1000 French companies are doing business in India and France is third in the list of investing in India.
France would very much like to ensure that it can make available military equipment to India including the multi-role fighter aircraft Rafale, Hollande said.
"We have to make efforts to protect the world from such attacks (in Paris)," said Hollande, while asserting that the fight against terrorism will be won.
The French President said that issues of security affected both the countries and they will share efforts to combat these. "We will foil the forces which want to spread death everywhere," said Hollande.
Noting that cities in India are devloping fast, the French President said his country will support in building smart cities.
"My second visit to India is exceptional and outstanding for the progress of both the countries and tackling poverty in India," he said.
The French President also made a pitch for stronger civil-nuclear military deal between India and France.
The defence manufacturing cooperation between India and France was also the topic of discussion in the meeting of CEOs held earlier where Indian companies like Tata Advance Systems Ltd put forth the ideas of more joint ventures to take advantage of each others proficiency.
Hollande said that many things which were good for economy carried an element of risk too.
Referring to Chinese growth of 9 percent per year he said, the level of growth of Chinese economy has slowed down.
"There can be many reasons for this. India is an economy which is growing fast and France wants to invest in India. We will be pushing investments worth One billion US dollars per year," he said.
He also offered help in the rapid growth that is taking place in Indian urban scenario.
Making a strong pitch for efforts over climate control, Hollande said that the level of pollution in cities was rising at a fast pace and there was no time to be wasted to implement measures to control global warming.