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PM meets top French CEOs

Source: PTI
September 12, 2005 15:16 IST
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Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Monday met with chief honchos of soemof the top French companies over breakfast in Paris and held discussions focused on enhancing investment in India and bilateral trade.

Singh is understood to have told the business leaders about the expanding opportunities for trade and investment in India at the meeting which was also attended by French Foreign Trade Minister Christine Lagarde.

Ahead of his interaction with the CEOs, Singh said, "France must help modernise Indian economy."

"French companies can play a role in the domains of energy, electricity, hydrocarbon, infrastructure, agri-business, pharmaceutical business and environment," he said in an interview to a leading French daily Le Figaro published on Monday.

Singh expressed interest to develop "very close ties" with Paris in defense matters.

He noted that the volume of trade exchanged and investment and also transfer of technology "are well short of their potential."

"At euro1.51 billion, French exports to India represented less than 4.4 per cent of the total imports of the country," he said.

Those attended the meeting included Alcatel executive vice president Jacques Dunogue, Alstom chairman and CEO Patrick Kron, chairman and CEO of Dassault Aviation Charles Edelstenne, Eads International chairman Christain Duhain, chairman and CEO of Thales Dennis Ranque and chairman of Renault Louis Schweitzer.
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