Bangalore gets its own French Consulate
Bangalore will finally get its own French Consulate. French Minister for Research Valerie Pecresse will open the new French Consulate at Palace Road in Vasanth Nagar on Saturday.
France is set to open a new consulate in Bangalore and re-open its consulate in Kolkata during the four-day visit of French President Nicolas Sarkozy to India that begins on Saturday. Valerie Pecresse, the French minister for higher education and research, will inaugurate the Bangalore consulate on Saturday. The Bangalore consulate will cater to the southern region. Pecresse, who will be among seven ministers accompanying Nicholas Sarkozy to India, will fly to Kolkata Sunday to re-open the consulate there.
France has its embassy in New Delhi and consulates in Mumbai and Pondicherry. France has upgraded its diplomatic offices and infrastructure in India in view of the burgeoning economic and strategic ties between the two countries. France has become India's fifth trading partner in Europe. Bilateral trade between India and France was estimated to be 5.36 billion euros last year. The two countries have set a target of achieving 12 billion euros bilateral trade by 2012. Accompanied by his wife Carla Bruni and seven senior ministers, Sarkozy will begin a four-day working visit to India from IT city Bangalore Saturday.
Though the French President will start his visit with a few hours stay in Bangalore on Saturday, he will not attend the opening of the Consulate General. He will instead leave for Agra after a visit to the Indian Space Research Organisation. Though the French Consulate General in Bangalore was set up in October 2008, it has not been issuing visas and has been functioning from Alliance Française at Miller’s Tank Bund Road. The French Consulate General in Mumbai has been issuing visas to people from Karnataka, who want to visit France.
The French Consulate General in Bangalore is being provided with necessary infrastructure to issue visas and will start doing so to people of Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh after moving to the new building. Sarkozy will also see the Indo-French Megha-Tropiques Satellite, which is being jointly developed by ISRO and Centre National d’Études Spatiales of France for atmospheric research. The data collected by the satellite will help study the water cycle contribution to the climate dynamic in the tropical atmosphere and the processes linked to the tropical convection.