External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Friday said there are immense possibilities of increasing the bilateral trade and commerce between India and France. At a joint press event with her French counterpart Jean-Yves Le Drian here, Swaraj said India places a lot of importance to its multilateral partnership with France.
“The USD 10.95 billion bilateral trade shows the immense possibilities of growth in it,” she said. The minister informed that there are about 1,000 French companies in India with total business of USD 20 billion, employing 3 lakh workers. “Our strong economies provide us opportunities to further strengthen our cooperation in trade and commerce,” Swaraj said, adding India welcomes the role of French companies in areas like smart cities, clean energy, and transport.
She further said the two countries are in agreement that finding long term solution to climate change and encouraging safe and sustainable energy requirements are the common commitments. The French minister said Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Emmanuel Macron have expressed their desire to maintain the momentum created with the Paris Agreement on Climate Change and the founding of the International Solar Alliance.
“They wished to have the State visit coincide with the first summit of the International Solar Alliance here in Delhi. This is very positive and will enable us to further enhance the attractiveness of this international organisation, which will have a crucial role to play in helping developing countries gain access to sustainable energy at lower costs,” the visiting minister said. He said there is also the field of renewable energy, in which “our companies are working together positively” and efficiently, and they will do so even more in the future.