Paul Hermelin and Ambassador Richier visit Bengaluru, 22 January 2014
The Special Representative for Indo-French Economic Relations,
Mr Paul HERMELIN and the Ambassador of France to India
visit Bengaluru, 22nd-23rd January 2014
French Government’s Special Representative for Economic Relations with India, Mr Paul Hermelin, and the Ambassador of France to India, Mr François Richier, paid a two-day visit to Bengaluru, from 22nd to 23rd January 2014. This prominent visit aimed to expand the scope of Indo-French cooperation, in particular in the sector of urban development, as well as higher education and space. Mr Paul Hermelin and Ambassador Richier led a high-profile delegation of 17 CEOs of top French companies present in India in key sectors such as urban development, energy, transport and water, who presented their expertise in their respective areas.
During this visit, Mr Hermelin and Ambassador Richier met H.E. Mr Hans Raj Bharadwaj, Governor of Karnataka.
The Ambassador of France focused on higher education with the visit of the prestigious IISc Bangalore (Indian Institute of Science). He met Prof. Balaram, Director of the institution, where an Indo-French Cell of Water Sciences has been functioning in the Department of Civil Engineering under an MoU with the French Government since 2001.
Thereafter, the French Ambassador met Dr K. Radhakrishnan, Chairman of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), to exchange views ahead of the 50th anniversary of Indo-French space cooperation which will be celebrated this year.
On the 23rd, Mr Hermelin, Ambassador Richier and the delegation met Mr Siddaramaiah, Hon’ble Chief Minister of Karnataka, to discuss potential areas of cooperation. Mr. Kaushik Mukherjee, Chief Secretary to the Government of Karnataka, will discuss key areas of investment in the State of Karnataka and highlight potential business opportunities in the sectors of urban development, non-conventional energy sources and urban transport solutions.
Meetings were also scheduled with officials of the Directorate of Urban Development and Municipal Administration, the Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation, the Bangalore Metropolitan Region Development Authority, the Directorate of Urban Land Transport and the Karnataka Urban Infrastructure Development Corporation.
Mr Hermelin and Ambassador Richier also visited the Alliance Française in Bangalore where they met the French community.
Special Representative for Indo-French Economic Relations : Mr Paul Hermelin was appointed Special Representative for Indo-French Economic Relations by the French Government last year, given the massive French investments in India over the past few years. Paul Hermelin, who is also Chairman and Chief Executive of the Capgemini Group, one of the world’s foremost providers of consulting, technology and outsourcing services, deeply involved in India. He is also the French co-Chair of the Indo-French CEO’s Forum and Chairman of the India group of French corporate association MEDEF.
750+ French subsidiaries for a total stock investment of nearly $19 billion : today, more than 700 French subsidiaries covering a broad spectrum of sectors are established in India and employ approximately 2,00,000 people. French companies have heavily invested in India over the past few years, with a total stock investment of nearly 19 billion dollars. They have brought with them know-how and technology; they are developing research centres in India, in certain cases with an international outlook. Numerous cooperation agreements have been signed between public and private research organisations.
World-renowned expertise in urban development : French companies have been very actively contributing their expertise for urban development in India, as highlighted in the recent Indo-French Technology Summit (23-24 October 2013) in Delhi. The Summit brought together 300 French and 600 Indian participants, and showcased state-of-the-art French technology from various sectors. The aim of this event was to encourage technological and commercial exchanges between France and India. Most recently, on December 19th 2013, the Embassy of France in India organised a seminar on Indo-French local cooperation in urban development jointly launched by Ambassador Richier and Mr. Ashok Singhvi, Joint Secretary, Indian Ministry of Urban Development. On this occasion, major French companies of the sector, such as Veolia Water, JC Decaux, Suez Environment, exchanged ideas with representatives of several Indian States (West-Bengal, Madhya Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Gujarat, Goa) and Indian municipal corporations (Kochi, Kota, South Delhi, Pune). This seminar highlighted urban scenarios, sustainable development, waste management challenges as well as the conservation and promotion of urban heritage.