On the last day of his India visit, French president Nicolas Sarkozy told the country’s business leaders that he is here not for clients, nor for a few deals, but to build a long-term partnership with India.
In an extempore speech, which he said, ‘would speak from heart’, Sarkozy said France wants to be ‘equal partners’ with India and emphasised that his country will share technology to help India attain sustainable development while addressing ecological issues.
He was speaking at a CII business meeting at the Taj Mahal Hotel here.
Owning up to excesses committed by the developed world a century ago, Sarkozy said: “If you do what we did a century ago then your people will pay the price for it.”
He said India should open up on ecological issues, as choosing between development and environment was a ‘non-choice’.
While several French companies are operating in India in power, infrastructure and other sectors, Sarkozy spoke about reciprocation, inviting Indian companies to set up business in France.
“We want to open our markets to your textile, petroleum products and agricultural products,” he said, adding the French government will ‘facilitate’ trade flows and would also exchange its know-how in various sectors.
He also touched upon currency as a ‘major issue’. “We need to organise our currency system,” he said.
He lashed out against speculation, saying “when speculators win, entrepreneurs and businessmen lose out.”
Only a month after US President Barack Obama, on his visit to the country, supported India’s claim for a permanent seat in the United Nations Security Council, Sarkozy said France has constantly backed India’s cause.
“I believe that we need a reform in the Security Council... The world has been thinking since 35 years to reform the Security Council,” he said, adding “It is time in 2011, not even in 2012.”
He described the standstill (of 35 years) as ‘audacious’ and said changing the global high table ‘is not a matter of choice.’
Speaking at the occasion, Hari Bhartia, President, CII said: “We must really succeed in laying the foundation of the 21st century institutions. We must have new ideas for the new world that lies ahead of us.”