French President Francois Hollande’s three-day India visit starting on Jan 24 will begin from Chandigarh, the city the famous French architect Le Corbusier had designed.
France wants to see Chandigarh emerging as the best Smart City and has offered collaboration to revitalise and rejuvenate the city.
Hollande’s other major programmes include being the Chief Guest at India’s Republic Day Parade and talks with officials to push forward defence deals.
One of the key agendas is the French intention to take forward the old connection with Chandigarh and re-engage with it to make it the best Smart City of the 21st century that will attract foreign investment .
France’s Ambassador to India François Richier said: “Given its beauty and lively culture, Chandigarh’s reputation is enough to justify the French President’s visit to the city.” Hollande will arrive in the city on Jan 24.
Richier told The Tribune that “Le Corbusier was French when he came to Chandigarh and this ‘double culture’ is very important.”. We had an exhibition on Chandigarh in Paris last year highlighting not just the Corbusier connection but also other aspects of the city.”
France has committed to develop Chandigarh along with Nagpur and Puducherry under the Smart City Mission launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
With its culture and skilled people , the city would attract more foreign investment once it got the Smart City tag. Hollande will meet CEOs from several Indian and French companies in the city and a number of agreements are expected to be signed.