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Union Minister Nitin Gadkari Applauds Longstanding Indo-French Cooperation

France is one of India's largest scientific partners, with over 25 French R&D centres, 15 joint IndoFrench research laboratories and 500 collaborative projects in the country.

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The Indo-French Chamber of Commerce & Industry (IFCCI) organized the 3rd edition of its flagship event, the Indo-French Business Awards (IFBA) on Wednesday, in the presence of French Ambassador, H.E. Mr. Emmanuel Lenain and Honourable Minister for Roads, Transport and Highways and MSME, Mr Nitin Gadkari. The award ceremony gathered business leaders from the most prominent Indo French companies across sectors like Aerospace & Defence, Mobility, Energy & Consumer Goods to name a few, in a seated formal business dinner. 

The Indo-French Business Awards announced 13 categories for which 120+ applications were received from all over India and France. The maximum number of applications received were for ‘Resilience in Business during Covid 19’ category which emphasized that French companies were able to sustain the Covid-19 crisis. Despite challenges in terms of logistical lockdowns and operational instability, French companies invested heavily towards Covid-related CSR initiatives in India. There were special awards given to promising young French professionals under the VIE program which is managed by Business France. 

Addressing the audience at the event, the Chief guest of the evening, Honourable Minister for Road Transport & Highways and Minister of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, Mr Nitin Gadkari said, “Today we are here to award those who are contributing to the Indo-French trade and business. I am giving my best wishes to all. Our alliance with France is very old and they are very good friends of my city, Nagpur. The Nagpur metro is financed by the financial institution of France and they are doing excellent work. We have a very long relationship. I am giving my best wishes to all award winners and assuring them that whatever the development from investors from France side, we will co-operate with them and support them. This will be a win-win situation as it will be beneficial for both the countries.”

Speaking at the event, the French Ambassador, H.E. Mr. Emmanuel Lenain, said “These awards are a testimonial to the robust Indo-French economic partnership, relying on a strong foundation of trust and mutual admiration. French companies are increasingly investing in India, going local to leverage partnerships with Indian partners & reshaping global supply chains. Moreover, it is heartening to observe how companies are dedicating more funds for CSR initiatives to tackle the pandemic. Last but not least, we have seen an increasing interest of Indian companies to invest in France, even during the pandemic. We are confident that this year, in the context of Brexit, more Indian investors will cross the Channel and make France their base for a better access to the EU market”. 

France is counted as the sixth largest economy and is the 9th largest foreign investor in India. There are more than 1000 French establishments (ranging from MNCs to SMEs) present in India and for new entrants, it is the priority investment destination. A major indicator is that 38 of France’s largest, publicly traded companies on the Euronext Paris (CAC 40 as they are called) have operations in India. 

Ms. Payal S. Kanwar, Director General, IFCCI said “French investments in India are booming and we are observing bilateral trade relations between both countries gaining momentum. FDI has quadrupled over the past ten years and French companies have a widespread presence across the country. There have been some recent large investments in infrastructure, energy, consumer goods, agribusiness, IT and auto sectors. Today’s award ceremony is a testament to their commitment and success in India”. 

Furthermore, France is one of India's largest scientific partners, with over 25 French R&D centres, 15 joint IndoFrench research laboratories and 500 collaborative projects in the country. France has also emerged as India’s trusted Defence and Strategic partner. The European leader is also partnering with India to develop Chandigarh, Puducherry, and Nagpur as smart cities with a commitment of over USD 2.2 billion for the latter’s smart cities project. This year, the Indian Union Cabinet signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and France in the field of renewable energy cooperation towards development of technological know-how and thereby aid the process of attaining the ambitious target of 450 GW of installed Renewable Energy capacity by 2030.

The winners of the 13 categories were awarded by H.E. Mr. Emmanuel Lenain, Ambassador of France to India. The awards Jury comprised of highly recognized Indo-French business leaders from the Embassy of France and IFCCI’s Governing Council comprising of CEOs from various industries. 

The event was addressed virtually by H.E. Mr. Javed Ashraf, H.E. Mr. Jawed Ashraf, Ambassador of India to the Republic of France and Principality of Monaco.  

Winners