An ASSOCHAM-IFCCI Interaction with Mr. Piyush Goyal, Hon’ble Minister of Commerce & Industry and Railways, Government of India and Mr. Franck Riester, Minister Delegate for Foreign Trade and Economic Attractiveness attached to the Minister for Europe

Friday, July 17, 2020

The Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India 
(ASSOCHAM) and the Indo-French Chamber of Commerce and Industry (IFCCI) co-organized a special interaction with Mr. Piyush Goyal, Hon’ble Minister of Commerce & Industry and Railways, Government of India and Mr. Franck Riester, Minister Delegate for Foreign Trade and Economic Attractiveness attached to the Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, Government of France on 17th July, 2020 on the theme “Business continuity between India and France during COVID-19”.  The objective of this interaction was to provide a fresh impetus to the robust India - France commercial and economic partnership in times of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The other speakers who spoke at the session included H.E. Mr. Emmanuel LENAIN, Ambassador of France to India, Dr Niranjan Hiranandani, President - ASSOCHAM, Mr. Sumeet Anand, President – IFCCI, Mr. Vineet Agarwal, Senior Vice President, ASSOCHAM, Mr. Deepak Sood, Secretary General – ASSOCHAM, Ms. Payal S. Kanwar, Director General – IFCCI, Mr. Ranjeet Goswami, Head – Corporate Affairs, TCS and Mr. Anil Chaudhry, Country President & Managing Director, Schneider Electric India.
“Nothing is more powerful than an idea whose time has come, and the time has come to take the idea of the India-French and the India-EU partnership to the next level” said Mr. Piyush Goyal, Hon’ble Minister of Commerce & Industry and Railways, Government of India citing the famous French poet, Victor Hugo.
Mr. Piyush Goyal felicitated the Indian and French industry for the progress made thus far and expressed confidence that India French trade relations that currently stand at US$10 billion have a far greater potential to go beyond the modest projected target of US $15billion. The Minister invited French companies to leverage the recent reforms undertaken by the Indian Government towards optimising the Make in India programme boosted by the Atmanirbhar Bharat vision of the Modi government. He assured the full assistance of his office to Indian and French companies in finding viable solutions and resolutions for expanding their business interests.
India is converting the pandemic into an opportunity for India through schemes such as Make in India and Atmanirbhar Bharat. He further elaborated that Atmanirbhar Bharat is not about closing doors, in fact, it is about India inviting trusted and credible partners like France to work closely with it, and witness mutual development, and growth. France and India are not in the competition with each other, we complement each other in post-COVID economy revival,” Mr. Goyal said.

The Minister also urged the French private companies to share such technologies in the railway sector that India is lacking. Mr. Goyal also urged ASSOCHAM and IFCCI to collaborate with Invest India to explore French companies’ interest in investing in India.

Mr. Franck Riester, Minister for Foreign Trade and Economic Attractiveness, Govt. of France
 shared that “Cooperation is the key to future of India – France Partnership”. The French Government is aiming to quickly materialise a Fast Track Agreement and also hoped to hold a Joint Economic Commission between India and France at the earliest possible after the pandemic. He also reiterated his government’s commitment towards the implementation of the Paris Agreement, EU-India Strategic Partnership, EU-India Science and Technology Agreement, and Innovation on Green Energy.
Minister Franck Riester also informed that France has set up a 100 Billion Euro package plan to support its industries and international projects. “COVID-19 pandemic is an opportunity to be bolder and daring in our partnership,” Riester added.
H.E. Mr. Emmanuel Lenain, Ambassador of France to India in his remarks highlighted that the current market share of French companies in India is below 1 percent and there is far greater potential to be leveraged in the Indian market. He urged for greater cooperation in agro & agribusiness, energy, urban development, transportations, civil nuclear, space, defence, cyber, and digital sectors. “We can push more in these sectors with the help of Government and ASSOCHAM,” Ambassador highlighted.
Dr. Niranjan Hiranandani, President ASSOCHAM in his Welcome Address said “Bilateral trade and investment between India and France could be doubled within the next few years and that’s what businesses and institutions from both economies are looking forward to leverage”.
Mr. Sumeet Anand, President, Indo-French Chamber of Commerce & Industry (IFCCI) in his Welcome Address said "France and India have had longstanding good relations since decades and this remains strong even during the COVID-19 pandemic. There remains a lot of scope for enhancing cooperation in the field of trade and investment and our Chamber is actively involved in this endeavour".
Mr. Ranjeet Goswami, Head – Corporate Affairs, TATA Consultancy Services and Mr. Anil Chaudhry, Country President & MD, Schneider Electric India shared the experiences of their companies in France and India respectively and expressed confidence that the deep engagement of industry and political leadership on both sides will help the Indo-French partnership attain greater heights.
Mr Deepak Sood, Secretary General, ASSOCHAM, opined that the global leadership qualities of Indian Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi and French President, Emmanuel Macron have helped India and France work towards the advancement of India - France relations to a new meaning, new dimension and new depth. He assured full cooperation of ASSOCHAM to industry on both sides for creating greater synergies and stronger relations.
Ms. Payal Kanwar, Director General, IFCCI in her concluding remarks, urged Indian and French companies to use the network of ASSOCHAM and IFCCI to engage and create platforms for cooperation to take Indo-French partnership to greater heights.
ASSOCHAM initiated its endeavour of value creation for Indian industry in 1920. It was established by promoter Chambers, representing all regions of India. Having in its fold over 400 Chambers and Trade Associations, and serving over 4.5 lakh members across India. ASSOCHAM has emerged as the fountainhead of Knowledge for Indian industry, which is all set to redefine the dynamics of growth and development in the Knowledge Based Economy. More information available on
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Manju Negi            
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