France has offered to cooperate with the West Bengal Government in its efforts to develop the State and beautify Kolkata on the lines of London.

At a meeting with State Chief Secretary Samar Ghosh here, French Consul-General in Kolkata Jean-Louis Rysto suggested illumination of the city's important monuments and beautification of the riverfront with expertise provided by established French companies.

“If the State Government is willing, we can introduce some leading French companies, known for their expertise in illumination, for a detailed discussion,” Mr. Rysto said.

The French Government can cooperate with the State for its all-round development, thus strengthening bilateral relations, the diplomat said.

Mr. Rysto said the French Government is also keen on an exchange programme between universities of France and those of West Bengal.

L'Institute De Francais in Chandernagore, a former French colony, would also be upgraded and talks in this regard had already taken place with its director Rila Mukherjee, he said.

He said visas were now being issued from the French consulate in the city.

“France is also ready to extend cooperation in developing tourism sector in the State which has a beautiful place like Darjeeling,” Mr. Rysto said. - PTI