French President Francois Hollande today heaped praise on Prime Minister Narendra Modi for playing a “decisive role” in the Paris climate change conference held in November last year,

“Indian PM had played a decisive role at the climate summit. Without Modi’s intervention on climate justice, there would not have been any agreement,” said the French President.

“France wants to build with India a post-carbon world,” he said referring to global warming. I trust the relationship established with Modi. We agree, our cooperation must move even faster,” he said.

Addressing the India- France Business Summit, Hollande said his visit had two main objectives: “consolidate our strategic partnership, in particular for our security, with more cooperation and implement decisions taken during PM Modi’s visit in France during COP21.” He said 1000 French companies are doing business in India and France is third in the list of investing in India.

Sixteen agreements, including one to develop Chandigarh as a smart city, were signed during the summit. Defence, green economy, smart cities, infrastructure, transportation, water and financial sector were on the agenda of the Indo-French CEOs Forum, which was attended by CEOs of 25 Indian and French companies.

The agreements signed at the summit included pacts among AFD (French Development Agency), Chandigarh Administration, Puducherry and Maharashtra on technical cooperation in the field of sustainable urban development for development of smart cities in Chandigarh, Nagpur and Puducherry; and Mahindra-Airbus cooperation to create the new private strategic partner for helicopters within the ‘Make in India’ initiative.

Earlier, Hollande was received at the technical airport here by Haryana and Punjab Governor Kaptan Singh Solanki, Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar, Punjab Cabinet Minister Adaish Partap Singh Kairon and Chandigarh MP Kirron Kher besides senior officers. Punjab’s traditional ‘gidda’ and ‘bhangra’ dancers gave a colourful welcome to the foreign guest.