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French Ambassador to visit Karaikal

Staff Reporter
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To inspect Fench school, start a microfinance scheme for the French population there

French Consul General of Puducherry Pierre Fournier (left) and France Ambassador Francois Richier, with Chief Minister N. Rangasamy in Puducherry on Wednesday —Photo: T. Singaravelou
French Consul General of Puducherry Pierre Fournier (left) and France Ambassador Francois Richier, with Chief Minister N. Rangasamy in Puducherry on Wednesday —Photo: T. Singaravelou

French Ambassador to India Francois Richier will be visiting Karaikal on Thursday to inspect the French school there and also to start a microfinance scheme for the French population to enable them to start their own businesses.

Addressing the press here on Wednesday Mr. Richier said this was the first visit to Karaikal by a French ambassador in over 20 years. The French school in Karaikal was earlier in a bad state, but now the enrolment has doubled and he was trying to work out how to bring in French teachers to teach there.

They were also looking at other projects for urban development in Karaikal, especially sewage treatment, he said.

In terms of Puducherry, the French would be able to help with the urban planning and development. Further, Puducherry should work towards attracting more French investment by simplifying the procedures for entry, he said.

The Ambassador would also be visiting various heritage buildings in Puducherry along with the Indian National Trust For Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH), in order to help preserve these buildings. These buildings not only maintain the beauty of the town, but will also help to boost the culture and tourism of Puducherry, Mr. Richier added.

In terms of education, Mr. Richier will be visiting Pondicherry University on Friday and will be exploring student and faculty exchanges with various French universities.

They were also looking to renovate the square around the Dupleix statue on the beach, he said.

In terms of FDI in retail, he said various French chains like Carrefour and Auchan had a large presence in China, but now that FDI in retail had opened up in India, these companies could look to expand here.

If they invest in India, however, they would not be limited to only building supermarkets, but would also be looking at food processing, cold storage and even parking lots and other infrastructure, which would eventually help the economy, he said. Mr. Richier paid a call on Lieutenant Governor Iqbal Singh and Chief Minister N. Rangasamy.

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