Visit of French Transport Minister Alain Vidalies to India
H.E. Mr Alain Vidalies, French Minister of State for Transport, Marine Affairs and Fisheries, is in India from 11th to 13th April 2017 to strengthen Indo-French cooperation on transport and offer wide-ranging French expertise for all the domains that this vast sector encompasses.
New Delhi, 11th - 13th April 2017
Mr Vidalies was received for bilateral meetings by his Indian counterparts: Shri Venkaiah Naidu, Hon’ble Minister of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation; Shri Suresh Prabhu, Hon’ble Minister of Railways; Shri P. Ashok Gajapathi Raju, Hon’ble Minister of Civil Aviation; and Shri Nitin Gadkari, Hon’ble Minister of Road Transport and Highways and Shipping. He also met Dr Mangu Singh, Director - Delhi Metro Rail Corporation, and took a ride on the Delhi metro.
Mr Vidalies participated in an Indo-French Workshop on Semi-high-speed Trains with the Indian Railways at Rail Bhavan. He then met Shri Prabhu for a bilateral meeting. This was followed by a joint statement on bilateral cooperation on railways, including semi-high-speed and high-speed trains, modernization of the railway network, renovation of stations and railway safety and security.
On Thursday, 13th April, a cooperation agreement was signed for the exchange of expertise and technical trainings between Airports Authority of India (AAI) and the French Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGAC), in the presence of Shri Raju and Mr Vidalies. Dr Guruprasad Mohapatra, Chairperson - AAI was also present on the occasion.
For each of his meetings with Indian dignitaries, Minister Vidalies was accompanied by high-level representatives from French companies specializing in areas relevant to the respective Indian ministries. The following companies were present:
- Aerospace: Safran, Thalès, Airbus Helicopters, Egis, Air France
- Railways: SNCF, Geismar, Alstom, Thalès, Railtech, Systra, Egis, Vossloh, Dassault-Systemes, Faiveley, Keolis, Tractebel
- Ports & infrastructures: CMA-CGM, Louis-Dreyfus-Armateurs, Bolloré, Egis, Systra
In the course of his India visit, Mr Vidalies was also given a guided tour of Delhi airport with GMR. He also visited the newly inaugurated Airbus flight simulator and pilot training centre in Delhi, an investment contributing to the Skill India programme.
Prime Minister Modi and President Hollande have expressed their desire for strong French involvement in urban development in India, during their regular bilateral meetings. France therefore provides technical support for the cities of Chandigarh, Nagpur and Puducherry under the Smart Cities Mission, including intelligent urban transport systems.
The French Development Agency (AFD), which has been present in India for almost 10 years, not only provides technical expertise but also financing, the AFD’s lines of credit today standing at over a billion euros. In line with the Indian Government’s priorities, the development of low-carbon urban infrastructure, particularly in the transport sector, is central to AFD’s mandate in India. Thus, it has contributed and is contributing to metro rail systems in Bengaluru, Kochi and Nagpur. It is also financing a feasibility study for parallel modes of urban transport, such as trams and ropeway systems, for Chandigarh.
Around 70 French companies are present all over India in all the sectors of urban development: urban planning and consulting, transportation, water and waste management, energy, construction, information and communications systems.