India and France collaborate for a sustainable future


Societe Generale was the sole international bank participating in the founding conference of the International Solar Alliance and the Knowledge Summit in Delhi, chaired by Indian Prime Minister Modi and President of France Macron.

Over the weekend on Mar 10-11, India and France came together to develop partnerships in the fields of renewable energy, education and research, smart cities and industry in two industry events.

The International Solar Alliance founding conference

The International Solar Alliance - a treaty-based organization, launched by India and France at COP21 Paris summit in 2015, has the aim to promote solar energy in 121 sunshine-rich countries and facilitate deployment of over 1,000 GW of solar energy and investment of more than US$1 trillion into solar energy by 2030. In their first summit that took place in New Delhi, Emmanuel Macron, President of France announced a pledge of EUR700mn to ISA, on top of the EUR300mn already committed at the inception of the initiative.

1. Emmanuel Macron (left), President of France and Narendra Modi (right), Prime Minister of India at the ISA Founding Summit
2. Antoine Castel (left) with Jean-Yves Le Drian, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Development of France

The conference was attended by close to 30 Heads of States or governments, each delivering a speech on their expectations regarding the deployment of solar energy in their respective countries. Antoine Castel, Chief Executive and Chief Country Officer, India and Hacina Py, Head of Export Finance represented Societe Generale at the summit.

During the summit, there was panel discussing ways to "derisk" investment in solar energy in some countries where investors are wary, but where the impact of further investments would be highly positive for the country. Hacina joined the panel and spoke about the theme of affordable finance for currently non-bankable projects.

"Financing small amounts on a project basis will be key to meet the challenge of developing clean and affordable energy with solar in ISA countries. Blending multilaterals and private institutions means, aggregating amounts to create volume, rationalizing processes and formats to create digital standardization, shall provide an efficient means to transform the financing needs into bankable projects, while channeling private institutions funds towards positive impact investments." 
Hacina Py, Head of Export Finance spoke about the theme of affordable finance

Knowledge Summit

As a culmination of the Future Tour, which took place in February as part of Bonjour India festival, the Knowledge Summit entailed discussions on several topics of mutual interest to both France and India including eco-energy, aerospace, agriculture and food processing, maths and information technology.

Karin Bony Merad, Director, Infrastructure & Power sector in Societe Generale India made a presentation on renewable energy in the Eco Energy roundtable moderated by Jean-François Pinton, president of ENS Lyon, along with representatives of Schneider Electric, Engie and Vicat India.

Attending the summit, Societe Generale India Chief Executive & Chief Country Officer, Antoine Castel shared his views,

"I am proud that Societe Generale was the only international commercial bank present at both the prestigious events, demonstrating its commitment to positive impact financing. We got the opportunity to showcase our capabilities and to explore mutual business partnerships. We hope that with the focus of both the Indo-French governments on sustainability, we will soon transition into greener and more inclusive economies".