India to focus on expanding ties with France: Mukherjee

Saturday, February 19, 2011

PARIS - India’s Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee has said that his meeting with his French counterpart Christine Lagarde were quite satisfactory and India would focus on expanding ties with France.

The Indian Finance Minister is in France to attend the summit of Finance Ministers and central bank heads of G-20 countries.

“We are expanding our relationship and in that context, my meeting with the French Finance Minister was quite satisfactory. We had the opportunity of sharing many of our issues of concern between our two countries,” Mukherjee told reporters after meeting Lagarde of Friday.

In his brief meeting with Christine Lagarde, Mukherjee discussed numerous issues including nuclear co-operation.

“During the visit of French President last year, we had important agreements signed between different organisations of France and India, important organisation is nuclear cooperation. France is also emerging as an important supplier of our defence equipment and platforms. France is the 9th largest direct foreign investor in India and the 5th largest trading partners in Europe,” added Mukherjee.

Ministers and Governors of central banks from various countries such as Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Britain, Canada, China, France, Germany, Indonesia, India, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, Turkey, the United States and the European Union have been attending the ongoing G-20 conference.

At the G-20 meet, Mukherjee along with Canadian Finance Minister Jim Flaherty will be the lead speakers at the conference.

Duvvuri Subbarao, Reserve Bank Governor, and R Gopalan, Secretary of Economic Affairs have accompanied Mukherjee.

The G-20 Finance Ministers meet starts on Friday and will continue till Saturday (February 19).

France would be also host the sixth G-20 summit that is a combination of developed and developing nations at Cannes on November 3-4, 2011 before passing on the conference charge to Mexico. (ANI)

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