Considerable potential for further growth in India-France ties: Khurshid

Last Updated: Thu, Jan 10, 2013 19:53 hrs

New Delhi: Economic and commercial relations between India and France were affected by the economic slowdown but are again growing steadily and there is considerable untapped potential for further growth, said External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid Thursday.

"Though affected by global economic slowdown, economic and commercial relations between our two countries are steadily growing in recent years. Yet there remains considerable untapped potential for further growth," said Khurshid in his opening statement at the joint press interaction in Paris with French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius.

"We invite French investments in our infrastructure, food processing industries, hi-tech and green technologies," said Khurshid, who is on a two-day visit to France.

Khurshid said that India and France shared the same "values of liberty, equality and fraternity" and the relations between two countries, in various fields like trade, investment, defence, security, counter-terrorism, space, nuclear energy, education, culture, science & technology and people to people contacts "were marked by "mutual trust".

He said that in civil nuclear co-operation, India was committed to the Jaitapur Nuclear Power Project and both sides are committed to ensuring the highest levels of safety in the project.

"There is a high degree of political understanding and convergence of views," said Khurshid citing the meeting between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and French President Francois Hollande on the sidelines of the G-20 Summit in Los Cabos in Mexico in June 2012.

Noting India and France were resolutely opposed to terrorism, he said they reiterated their commitment to continue to cooperate in the fight against terrorism.

Describing it as a continuation of the tradition of regular and close contacts, Khurshid said that India was looking forward to welcoming President Hollande in the near future.

Describing his meeting with his French counterpart as "cordial, comprehensive and fruitful", he said they reviewed cooperation in defence, space and civil nuclear energy and counter-terrorism and described them as an "important pillars of our bilateral relations".

Congratulating the scientists of India and France on the successful launch of the joint scientific satellite, Megha-Tropiques, in October 2011, he said both looked forward to the launch of satellite for ARGOS and ALTIKA (SARAL) in the first quarter of 2013.

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