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Demonetisation shows ‘boldness’ of Modi: France

France has appreciated demonetisation in India, terming it as a “bold” decision which “shows how determined” Prime Minister Narendra Modi is to combat tax evasion, corruption and black money. French Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Development Jean-Marc Ayrault also hailed the “significant reforms” undertaken by Modi to attract foreign investments, saying “they are in the right direction”.

Appreciating the ‘Make in India’ initiative, he told PTI in an interview that France “wishes to be a major partner, thanks to its experience, expertise and recognised technologies”. At the same time, he said “joint efforts” should be made between the European Union and India to reduce trade barriers and pitched for reforms in India with regard to easing the import-export regime and improving the predictability and stability of regulations.

“I am impressed by the boldness of this decision. It shows how determined Prime Minister Modi is to combat tax evasion, corruption and black money. It’s also a measure aimed at modernizing the economy by accelerating the transition to a digital economy,” Ayrault, who was here on a four-day visit, said when his views were sought on demonetisation.

“We are following these developments with keen interest,” he added. He said “The Indian economy is full of promise for entrepreneurs and we trust the government’s resolve to support the country’s economic development.”

The French Minister, who was here primarily to attend Vibrant Gujarat, said the bilateral economic ties “are being ceaselessly strengthened”. Pointing out that French companies have a very strong presence in India, he said they “invest, innovate and make in India”.

About 1000 French entities are spread all over the Indian territory, employing almost 3,50,000 skilled workers, and the general feeling is that this is a land “full of opportunities”, he said. However, bilateral trade remains at a “more modest level”, which is also due to French companies fully adopting the ‘Make in India’ policy.

“But we must continue our joint efforts, between the European Union and India, to reduce trade barriers,” he said.

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