By Sanjay Jog
Nine top industry leaders will have an exclusive meeting with French President Francois Hollande over high tea here on February 15.
They include Reliance Industries (RIL) Chairman and Managing Director (CMD) Mukesh Ambani, Tata Group Chairman Cyrus Mistry, Wipro Chairman Azim Premji, Godrej Group Chairman Adi Godrej, Essar Group Chairman Shashi Ruia, Bharat Forge CMD Baba Kalyani, L&T Chairman A M Naik, State Bank of India (SBI) Chairman Pratip Chaudhuri and Gopichand Hinduja, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Hinduja Automotive Ltd.
A senior official of the Maharashtra government's protocol department told Business Standard: "These industry magnets will individually meet the French President at a five star hotel on Friday. About an hour has been reserved by the French President for the proposed interaction. They are expected to discuss investment plans and how to further increase the technological tie-up between India and France."
RIL had entered into a pact with France's Dassault Aviation SA last year to work on defence projects. The deal was signed soon after Dassault Aviation emerged as the lowest bidder for a multi-billion dollar order to provide 126 Rafale fighter jets to the Indian military, one of the largest arms importers in the world.
Besides, L&T Metro Rail (Hyderabad) Ltd had awarded contracts to set up signalling, train control and communication systems to France-based Thales SA, manufacturer of aerospace systems and industrial electronics. Wipro is a strong partner to some of the major French groups, helping them in their offshore projects in Asia and other parts of the world. SBI has branches in Paris and it has formed two joint ventures with French companies in the fields of life insurance and securities management services.