INDIA: Shri Anand Sharma, Union Minister for Commerce and Industry, Co-Chaired the 16th Session of the India-France Joint Committee along with Mrs. Christine Lagarde, the French Minister for Economy, Industry and Employment, in Paris. The Joint Committee reviewed the entire gamut of bilateral economic and commercial relations, took stock of the global economic outlook and agreed to collaborate with each other on matters on mutual interest in international fora. The Joint Committee renewed the pledge of achieving the bilateral trade of Euro 12 billion by 2012, and agreed on ways and means to do the same. The Joint Committee took note of the progress of negotiations for India-EU Broad-based Trade and Investment Agreement which will give a boost to the bilateral economic and commercial relationship. In a separate meeting, Minister Sharma also exchanged views on bilateral matters with Christine Lagarde.
During the visit, Shri Sharma also addressed meeting of India-France CEO’s Forum, along with Anne-Marie Idrac, Minister for Foreign Trade. The Minister urged the French CEOs to take advantage of the rapid growth happening in India and to come up with concrete suggestions for boosting the bilateral economic and commercial relationship between the two countries. The CEOs Forum meeting is being attended by Mr. Narayana Murthy, Co-Chair of the Forum and Founder Chairman, Infosys Technologies Ltd, Mr. Hari S. Bhartia, Co-Chairman & Managing Director, Jubilant Organosys Ltd, From the French side, the meeting was attended by Mr. Bertrand Collomb, Co-Chair of the Forum and Honorary Chairman, Lafarge, Mr. Bruno Bich, Chairman of the Board, Societe BIC. The CEO’s Forum conducted deliberations in sessions related to Energy, Water and Infrastructure, Green Growth, Education and Research, SME Collaboration, and Fostering Joint Ventures to invest in third countries and investments in each others’ countries.
Shri Sharma also held a substantive bilateral meeting with Mr. Bernard Kouchner, Minister for Foreign Affairs of France, and exchanged ideas on strengthening the bilateral relationship and on regional and global issues. Anne Lauvergeon, Chairman, Executive Board, Areva, called on the Minister and reaffirmed her commitment for India, as part of the Indo-France Civil Nuclear Energy Cooperation Agreement and intensifying their collaboration with NPCIL. He also addressed the Board of the Comite Colbert, an association of the luxury industry in France, and discussed mutual cooperation possibilities between the French luxury sector and the Indian luxury sector.