Speech by the ambassador of France on the occasion of the opening of ’Bonjour India’
Presentation à la presse de Bonjour India par l’Ambassadeur de France (08 novembre 2017)
Shrimati Riva Ganguly Das, Director General of ICCR (Indian Council for Cultural Relations),
It gives me a real pleasure to host you today at the Residence of France, which - as you may have noticed – is full of cultural objects, some Indian, some French, some a mix of both, and all here to give you a taste of what our two countries can achieve together.
The third edition of Bonjour India is ambitious, collaborative, and directly focused on the youth. Bonjour India is a moment where events, minds, people of our two nations are gathered to imagine the future.
Bonjour India will bring vital sectors, such as artistic, linguistic, university and scientific exchanges, in the limelight. Innovation, be it digital or social, is a major focus area of Bonjour India. New challenges are emerging in areas such as Smart Cities and the environment, which illustrate the importance of having commonalities in our policies.
Geared to the future and incorporated in Indo-French cooperation for the long term, Bonjour India is intended as the starting point of this reinvigorated relation with our Indian partners.
Bonjour India is our moment, a moment of friendship between two nations, of strengthening the partnership of hearts between our peoples.
Innovation, creativity, partnership. Three words that are at the heart of our expectations for a moment like Bonjour India. Innovation, creativity, partnership, our motto to foster our relationship with India in many fields.
People to-people ties are one of the most promising fields of our bilateral relationship. Our ambition, through Bonjour India, is to shape the upcoming decade of exchanges between our peoples. That’s why, we are looking at the stakes that we have to face in the upcoming years.
Bonjour India will take place over three months, from November this year to February. 100 projects, 300 events will be produced during this period, spread over 33 cities in 20 Indian states and union territories. I am proud of Bonjour India’s unprecedented span, which France has developed with India.
To imagine and to build this with India, we have decided to focus on three pillars :
1/ smart citizen
PUTTING THE HUMAN BEING AT THE HEART OF THE CITY
France and India, together, are building tomorrow’s cities.
From heritage to state-of-the-art technology, from connectivity to sustainable development, the two countries intend to provide modern citizens smarter cities. Beyond access to public utilities, the stake is also to provide opportunities for their common and individual blossoming, by way of education, art, know-how and innovative processes.
Teaming up enterprises, fab-labs, researchers, thinkers and artists, Bonjour India Smart Citizen will present new ways of living in the city, living the city.
MOVING UP TO TOMORROW’S NETWORKS
Our modern world is shaped by mobility, both physical and virtual. As world leaders in these value-creating industries, France and India are involved in projects around aerospace, railways, cars, metros, as well as digital and intellectual connections.
Bonjour India High Mobility will showcase the strong partnership developed by our countries, opening new avenues for mobility between India and France, and unfolding creative roadmaps to build future networks.
OUR EARTH : A COMMON CAUSE
Since Paris COP 21 meeting, India and France have been working hand in hand to foster development that allows future generations to live better, greener lives.
Renewable energy, low-carbon industries, sustainable lifestyles are the basis on which to build this future.
Bonjour India Go Green will underline citizen, entrepreneurial and government initiatives, helping to develop local and global solutions.
Bonjour India is thus an invitation to all segments of our societies to think about our future. Bonjour India is thus coming into being with various partners, such as universities, enterprises, NGOs, ministries and, of course, artists.
Before I conclude, I would like to express my heartfelt gratitude to all our sponsors and all our Indian institutional partners. Without ICCR, without your constant encouragement Dear Mrs Ganguly Das, and all the chief ministers of the states and union territories who extended their unstinting support, Bonjour India would not have been possible on this scale.
Thank you !