Visit to Calcutta of the Ambassador of France (17-20 August)
The Ambassador of France to India, Mr. Alexander Ziegler, visited Calcutta from 17 to 20 August 2016. He was accompanied by the Head of the Regional Economic Department of the Embassy, Mr. Jean-Marc Fenet, and by the Counsellor for cooperation and cultural Action, director of the French Institute in India, Mr. Bertrand de Hartingh.
During his visit, the Ambassador was received by the Governor of West Bengal, Mr. Keshari Nath Tripathi.
He met with the Minister of Finance, Trade and Industry, Mr. Amit Mitra, as well as the Commissioner of Police Mr. Rajeev Kumar.
Mr. Ziegler participated in a round-table with the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) on the theme: "Doing Business with France".
He also met local businessmen such as Mr. Sanjiv Goenka, Chairman of RP-Sanjiv Goenka Group, Mr. Umesh Chowdhary, Vice-Chairman of Titagarh Group and major investor in France, Mr. Sanjiv Puri, Executive Director of ITC Limited, Mr. Mahendra Kumar Jalan, Chairman of Keventer Group, and Ms. Priti Paul, Director of Apeejay Surendra Group.
The Ambassador visited projects run by French NGOs or supported by France: the buses of Tomorrow’s Foundation providing care for disadvantaged children, the economic activity incubator of LP4Y (Café Toto), and the social enterprise Terra Indica.
Mr. Ziegler visited Alliance française du Bengale and met its office bearers. He also exchanged with cultural figures, as Mr. Naveen Kishore, director of Seagull Books and Seagull School of Publishing, Mrs. Nandana Sen, actress and author, and Mrs. Reena Lath, Director of the Art Gallery Akar Prakar.
The Ambassador visited the center of VFS Global in Calcutta, external service of the Consulate General to collect the passports of travelers, more and more numerous in the region, who wish to travel to France.
Mr. Ziegler attended two receptions, one with the French community as well as representatives of the cultural, educational and associative spheres, and another one with members of the local business community.
On the occasion of these two functions, Mr. Ziegler conferred decorations to two personalities in recognition of their outstanding contribution to the Franco-Indian relations: the Academic Palms to Professor Basabi Pal, head of the French department of Chandernagore Government College, and the National Order of Merit to Mr. Saroj Kumar Poddar, former president of Alstom India (see separate articles).
Finally, the Ambassador visited Mother Teresa’s House, the Marble Palace and the House of Tagore.