India, France sign 16 agreements to deepen mutual engagement

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25 January 2016

India and France on Sunday signed 16 agreements for bilateral cooperation in areas, from defence production to Modi government's smart-city initiative. The agreements were signed during French President Francois Hollande as the chief guest at the Republic Day function.

 
French President Francois Hollande being received by President Pranab Mukherjee and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, at the Ceremonial Reception, at Rashtrapati Bhavan, in New Delhi on 25 January 2016.  

France will help develop three smart-city projects for which French Development Agency (AFD) signed memorandum of understanding with Chandigarh, Nagpur and Puducherry

French defence electronics giant Thales also signed an MoU to provide surveillance system in smart cities. Other companies with whom agreements were signed include Schneider Electric, Alstom, Lafarge and Dassault Systems.

Addressing India-France Business Summit in Chandigarh both leaders reaffirmed their commitment to fighting climate change even as they vowed to collaborate across all sectors to achieve the desired outcome.

''We want India to play a crucial role in climate change initiatives. To reduce carbon footprint we can collaborate with France in a big way. France is also known for its innovation in renewable energy. In this India has joined hands with France and US. We are also working together in International Solar Alliance,'' Modi said.

The prime minister appreciated France for the manner in which it coordinated the CoP 21 negotiations. He recalled that President Hollande had spoken to him over phone and had shared the outline of the proposed agreement, shortly before it was announced.

He also recalled the deadly terror attack in Paris a few days before the CoP-21 meeting, and said France has shown the way to combat terrorism without deviating from its core principles. He said India will stand shoulder to shoulder with France in the fight against terrorism.

The prime minister spoke at length about the complementarities between India and France, and said both countries are in fact made for each other.

Speaking about the security and defence sector, the prime minister said Indian talent and French manufacturing capability can together make the world a more secure place. In this context, he mentioned cyber-security as well.

''Defence is a very important matter. India-French defence cooperation has a huge potential.'' But, neither Modi nor Hollande made any reference to the Rafalae fighter jet deal.

Modi said French companies are well invested in India. He asserted that retrospective tax was a thing of the past, and a closed chapter. He mentioned the initiatives of Mission Innovation, involving India, US and France, and the International Solar Alliance.





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