Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh (File Photo).
Chandigarh: The Punjab government on Friday sought French collaboration to form strategic alliances in the fields of water management, food processing, development of smart cities, heritage tourism and others.
The assistance was sought during a meeting between Chief Minister Amarinder Singh and the French envoy in India, Alexandre Ziegler, according to an official statement.
Recalling Punjab's strong military ties with France, Singh said the brave exploits of legendary French Gen Jean Francois Allard, who had headed the cavalry 'Fauj-e-Khas' of Sikh ruler Maharaja Ranjit Singh.
He told the French envoy that a bust of Gen Allard has been installed in Amritsar.
Singh asked Ziegler, who was accompanying a high-level delegation, to collaborate with Punjab in emerging technologies in areas of water conservation and purification, development of smart cities and promotion of heritage tourism and mobility.
Singh also sought alliances with prominent French firms in the field of textiles and leather industry, besides pharmaceuticals, food and dairy processing industry.
He assured the visiting delegation of his government's full support for any ventures in the state and pointed to the state's labour-friendly policies and uninterrupted affordable power, according to the statement.
The chief minister expressed concern over the dismal sub-soil scenario in Punjab and asked the envoy to suggest economically viable and long-lasting solutions for treatment of recycled water for irrigation.
He invited the French envoy to the investment summit in the state in December.
Ziegler assured Singh he would make all efforts to send a delegation of industrialists to explore investment opportunities in Punjab.
The Ambassador expressed France's willingness to be associated with similar projects in Ludhiana, Amritsar, and Jalandhar as these cities were also covered by the smart city scheme.
It was agreed by the two that a joint meeting would be held soon with the Indo-French Chamber of Commerce and Industry to map the investment potential.