French Delegation Explores Smart Cities Opportunities In India Before President’s Visit

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India is the fastest growing economy in the world and all eyes are set on the Indian market to identify new opportunities. The development of Smart cities is one of the opportunities that are attracting eyeballs of all the big corporate houses in India and abroad. While US, Japan and China are leaving no stone unturned to grab a sizable share of this opportunity – roughly estimated worth thousands of billions of dollars – France is also making every possible move to stay ahead in the race.

In a bid to strengthen its trade ties with India, a 60-member french delegate is on a visit to India. The core objective of the delegation, which comprises SMEs and some of the leading corporates of France, is to identify investment opportunities in India. Led by Mr Pierre Gattaz, President – MEDEF, the delegation visited Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore to understand current business scenarios in various industries and verticals.

MEDEF, also known as Movement of the Enterprises of France, is the largest employer federation of France representing over 800,000 member companies advocating for the interest of large, medium and small enterprises at the local, regional, national and EU levels

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This visit becomes more important for France corporate houses considering the scheduled official visit of French President Emmanuel Macron in December this year.

“We have gathered immense data and researched untapped sectors, which we intend to recommend to our ministry and industry that will create an even more robust ecosystem than before. We thank NUMA Bengaluru for hosting us in this great city and providing their resources to facilitate a meaningful engagement. We are confident that President Macron’s visit later this year, will cement the partnership and improve the bilateral and trade ties of our great democracies,” said Mr. Gattaz while sharing his experience on the visit.

While the delegation has identified many areas where France can play an instrumental role in shaping up India of 21st century, the development of Smart cities is one of those areas the delegation has shown a keen interest on.

The member of the delegation believes that the future growth of India largely depends on the development of smart cities. With increasing urban population which demands rapid expansion of areas, the government must look at smarter ways to manage complexities, increase efficiencies and improve quality of life. This will allow citizens to have more balanced and hassle-free lifestyle in the future.

A Smart city comprises Housing, Cleanness, Energy, Mass transportation, waste & water management in an effective manner.

The delegation believes it’s high time to push the envelope. Planning and execution of a smart city require minimum 8 – 10 years, and among all the building blocks of smart cities mass transportation would be the biggest challenge.

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There will only be 26 fully developed smart cities in the world by 2026, estimates Frost and Sullivan, one of the leading global market research and consulting firms. It quite disappointing to know that after factoring the current initiatives and development the firm seems no existence of any smart city in India by then.

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