Former French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe will visit India from March 14-17 to boost bilateral economic ties, particularly cooperation on ports, and decentralised cooperation between local governments. He is currently the Mayor of Le Havre, France's largest commercial port city, the French Embassy in India said in a press release.
During his visit, Edouard Philippe will travel to Delhi and Mumbai. Philippe will hold a meeting with External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar to exchange views on tackling major global challenges at a time when India holds the G20 Presidency and the outlook for the France-India strategic partnership, which marks its 25th anniversary this year.
He will meet with Union Minister of Ports, Shipping and Waterways Sarbananda Sonowal to discuss ports cooperation, particularly with regard to the implementation of the Indo-French Roadmap on the Blue Economy and Ocean Governance, according to the press release.
In order to promote business opportunities between France and India, Philippe will meet several leading Indian investors, and preside as the guest of honour over the business awards ceremony hosted by the Indo-French Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
During his visit to Mumbai, Edouard Philippe will meet Brihanmumbai Municipal Commissioner Iqbal Singh Chahal to discuss cooperation opportunities between the two port cities of Le Havre and Mumbai. He will also visit Nhava Sheva port, where the French container shipping company CMA-CGM recently won a 30-year concession, according to the French Embassy in India press release.
A delegation of HAROPA, a combination of the port authorities of Le Havre, Rouen and Paris will accompany Philippe. People-to-people ties being at the heart of the Indo-French relationship, Philippe will also share his experience as Prime minister at two major academic institutions in India.
He will deliver a lecture on the quest for balance in an imbalanced world at St Xavier's College in Mumbai. At St Stephen's College in Delhi, he will discuss how literature and politics are intertwined, as per the press release.
This being his first official visit to India, Philippe will seek to gain deeper insights into the history and the cultures of India. He will meet renowned Indian writers, historians and artists as well as representatives of civil society.
Notably, Edouard Philippe served as the Prime minister of French President Emmanuel Macron's government from April 2017 to July 2020. During that period, the two nations witnessed a remarkable deepening of the Indo-French strategic partnership and the launch of France's Indo-Pacific strategy, according to the press release.
In his tenure as French Prime Minister, he also oversaw major economic reforms that have made France the most attractive destination for foreign investments in Europe. Philippe is also a author of novels (L'Heure de verite, Dans l'ombre) and non-fiction (Des Hommes qui lisent) as well as essays on governance (Impressions et lignes claires). (ANI)