PM Modi interacted with the CEOs from both countries under the rubric of India-France CEO Forum

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday addressed the CEO Forum in Paris and asked business leaders to utilize investment opportunities in India in order to become a part of the country’s growth story.

The CEO Forum meet was attended by leading business leaders of India and France, including Airbus CEO Guillaume Faury, Alstom CEO Henri Poupart Lafarge, Arcelor Mittal’s Executive Chairman Lakshmi Mittal and several others.

While acknowledging the role played by these business leaders in strengthening bilateral relations and promoting economic cooperation between the two countries, Prime Minister Modi highlighted India’s progress in renewables, startups, pharma, IT, digital payments, infrastructure, and the various initiatives undertaken to foster a business environment.

Interaction with prominent personalities

Earlier in the day, Prime Minister Modi interacted with several prominent members of the French society in Paris and exchanged views on various issues.

During his interaction with Thomas Pesquet, a French aerospace engineer, astronaut, pilot and actor, Prime Minister Modi told him about India’s progress in the space sector, particularly in promoting startups and encouraging greater private sector participation.

On his side, the French aerospace engineer discussed with Prime Minister Modi possible contours of future space programmes and technologies. Prime Minister Modi invited Pesquet to visit India to motivate the youth as well as explore collaboration in the space sector.

Prime Minister Modi also held a meeting with Leena Nair, an Indian origin business leader and global CEO of Chanel, a French luxury fashion house. During the meeting, their discussion focused on ways to promote handicrafts, khadi, and skill development of artisans in India.

According to the Ministry of External Affairs, PM Modi invited Chanel to explore investment opportunities and collaboration potential in India.

PM Modi also interacted with Charlotte Chopin, a renowned French yoga teacher, who shared her views on how yoga can bring happiness and promote holistic wellbeing.

During interaction with Yael Braun-Piyet, President of the French National Assembly, both leaders highlighted the shared values of democracy, liberty, equality and fraternity. They discussed ways to further increase cooperation between the two parliaments, said the MEA.

Address to Indian diaspora

While addressing members of the Indian diaspora at the La Seine Musicale- a performing arts centre on an island in the river Seine, PM Modi described India as a “model of diversity.” Talking about India’s G20 presidency, he said the world has been left impressed by the way the country has been hosting various events.

The Prime Minister said very soon Indian tourists will be able to make rupee payments using UPI from atop the Eiffel Tower. “In France, an agreement has been made for the use of India's UPI. It will be started from the Eiffel Tower in the coming days, and now Indian tourists will be able to make payments in Rupees, through UPI, in Eiffel Tower,” Prime Minister Modi said.

He announced the opening of a new Indian consulate in Marseille in France and told the cheerful audience that Indian students doing masters in the European country will now get five-year-long post-study work visas.

Highlighting India's democratic and pluralistic credentials, he said it is the mother of democracy and a model of diversity as well. This is our very big strength, he said, noting that over 32,000 newspapers and 900 news channels exist in the country in over 100 languages and that Tamil is the world's oldest language. PM Modi noted that Wimbledon had recently described tennis great Roger Federer as “Thalaiva” (a Tamil word for a leader and boss), saying the world is also enjoying the diversity of Indian languages.

In his nearly an hour-long speech to the enthusiastic crowd, PM Modi outlined India's fast-paced development and asserted that while the world is moving towards a new order, India's strength and role are also changing very quickly. He said the whole world has come to believe that it will not take long for the country to become a $ 5 trillion economy.