French firms keen on water, waste management

French companies are keen on sharing technical know-how and tieing up partnerships with the Karnataka government in key sectors like urban development, water and waste management, higher education, systems integration, energy and transport, said Special Representative for Indo-French Economic Relations Paul Hermelin on Thursday.

In Bangalore on a two-day visit as part of a high-profile delegation of top French companies, Hermelin said, “We have spoken to top officials of the Karnataka government who are keen to understand what we can bring to the table to solve infrastructural issues facing the state,” Hermelin said.

The delegation comprising 17 French CEOs was led by French Ambassador to India Francois Richier and held talks with Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, Chief Secretary Kaushik Mukherjee and Governor H R Bhardwaj.

French companies operating in key sectors like urban development, energy, transport and water presented their expertise in these areas to the chief minister and governor and discussed key areas of investment and potential business opportunities in the areas of urban development, non-conventional energy sources and urban transport solutions.

“Companies like Veolia and Suez Environment have been very interested in helping Karnataka address its water and waste management issues,” Hermelin said.

Alstom, which has been playing a important role in setting up rail, rolling stock and electrical infrastructure for the Bangalore, Chennai and Delhi Metros is said to be keen on playing a more active role in Karnataka’s power sector.

“We have focussed on drawing up plans to set up a coherent framework under which investments can happen,” Hermelin said. On Thursday, the French delegation met ISRO Chairman K Radhakrishnan and Indian Institute of Science Director Prof Balaram.

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