French Ambassador’s visit to Puducherry

H.E. Mr Alexandre Ziegler, Ambassador of France to India, was in Puducherry to inaugurate Bonjour India events and mark 10 years of the French Development Agency’s cooperation with India.

Puducherry, 25 January 2018

H.E. Mr Alexandre Ziegler, Ambassador of France to India, inaugurated, on 25th January 2018, several events in Puducherry highlighting and boosting Indo-French partnership in various fields. They ranged from marking the 10th anniversary of the French Development Agency’s wide-ranging fruitful cooperation on sustainable development with India, to a regatta, an innovative e-bike launch, and workshops by the renowned French Théâtre du Soleil, being held as a part of the ongoing third edition of Bonjour India, in collaboration with Alliance Française de Pondichéry and the French Consulate in Puducherry. A former French trading post, Puducherry is one of three cities (along with Nagpur and Chandigarh) to receive French support under the Indian government’s Smart Cities Mission.

Photo Exhibition: A World in Common

Ambassador Ziegler inaugurated a photo exhibition, “A World in Common”, presented by the French Development Agency (AFD), in the presence of the Hon’ble Lieutenant-Governor of Puducherry, H.E. Dr Kiran Bedi. This exhibition was on display at Maison Colombani, Alliance Française de Pondichéry, underscored the positive impact on people, the economy and the environment of AFD’s collaboration with India on projects promoting sustainability. From boosting urban dynamism in Kochi to protecting the rich biodiversity of Assam, through lighting Jodhpur’s streets and harnessing the power of the sun and the wind, the stories in the exhibition showcased the collective action and partnerships that have led to building a safer, more equitable and sustainable world.


Ambassador Ziegler flagged off a regatta along with the Hon’ble Chief Minister of Puducherry, Shri V. Narayanasamy. Celebrating France and Puducherry’s shared love for sailing, the four-day regatta, was supported by the Embassy of France, as well as the Government of Puducherry. Organised by the Pondicherry Sailing Association, the event saw 50 competitors, with international sailors participating in events classed according to various boat classes. Along with France’s national Laser Class team, other teams such as Optimist class, International 420 class, Laser 4.7 class, Laser Radial class and Moth class were in Puducherry to participate in the event held in the sea off Beach Road. The Moth class event was held in India for the first time.

E-bike Demonstration

In an initiative dedicated to smart and sustainable mobility, the Easy Ride e-bike has been developed by a French SME, FranceCol Technology, in an exemplary collaboration with Veltech University in Chennai. Supported by the Indo-French Centre for the Promotion of Advance Research (CEFIPRA), this collaboration led to the creation of an innovative electric bicycle engine. Following a Hackathon held at Veltech University on 22-23 January 2018, the e-bike demonstration was held on Puducherry’s Marine Street, providing a unique occasion for the public to meet with engineers and try out the e-bike equipped with FranceCol’s technology, while getting to learn more about academic and research opportunities in France.

Théâtre du Soleil: École Nomade (Theatre workshop)

The week also saw Théâtre du Soleil’s 20-day theatre workshop, École Nomade, conclude on 26th January. École Nomade is an itinerant theatre school for aspiring actors and enthusiasts that takes the tools of theatre to different countries through workshops for collective sharing and learning. Supported by Bonjour India, this workshop was conducted by the iconic French stage director Ariane Mnouchkine and other artists from this famous Parisian theatre group, in collaboration with Indianostrum Theatre. Around 100 enthusiasts across India participated in the workshop to hone their skills and exchange creative processes and ideas.

For the events in Puducherry, the Ambassador of France to India, H.E Mr Alexandre Ziegler, said, “France’s historic relations with Puducherry have grown with time to address topical issues and involve the youth of both countries. All the events celebrated this week - AFD’s decade of partnership with India for sustainable development, the Bonjour India events with an e-bike made under Indo-French collaboration, the regatta with young sailors from France and India, and Ariane Mnoushkine’s itinerant theatre workshop with Indianostrum – all reflect our rich, expansive ties.”

About Bonjour India

The third edition of Bonjour India 2017-18 is a four-month-long voyage across India that celebrating Indo-French partnership as well as shaping the next decade of people-to-people contacts between the two countries. From November 2017 to February 2018, Bonjour India is covering 100 projects in 33 cities across 20 states and union territories. Bonjour India is providing a platform for enduring partnerships across the themes of Smart Citizen, High Mobility, Go Green.

Bonjour India is unprecedented given the ambitious scale of its partnership with India. People at the forefront of their fields are sharing their inspiring journeys as they change society through their innovation and creativity. At events collaboratively organised across cities and disciplines, amid performances, debates, seminars and exhibitions, all audiences will find something that captures their imagination.

With Bonjour India 2017-18, India and France are coming together to create, innovate and partner towards a progressive and sustainable future.
Bonjour India aims far, Bonjour India supports fair, Bonjour India is fun!
Tag us at #BonjourIndia & #CommonThread

For further information please visit

Making this larger-than-life platform come true, are our valued partner companies. Bonjour India thanks:

  • Diamond Partners: Dassault Aviation, Reliance
  • Gold Partners: Accor, Air India, Engie, Krishnakriti, Renault, Société Générale
  • Silver Partners: Air France, Ariane Space, Axa Group India, Jamnalal Bajaj Foundation, BNP Paribas, Faurecia, Laurent Perrier, Mane, Naval Group, NRB Bearings Limited, Pernod Ricard, Phoenix Mall, Saint Gobain, Thales, Vicat (Bharathi Cement)
  • Event Partners: Schneider Electric, Sonalika Group, Suez, Apeejay Surrendra Group, L’Oreal, Champagne Besserat de Bellefon, Grover, L’Opera, Oberoi Group
  • Communication Partners: Foxity, JC Decaux
  • Indian Institutional Partner: Indian Council for Cultural Relations

Last modified on 02/03/2018

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