French President Francois Hollande meets with Modi.
French President Francois Hollande meets with Modi.

NEW DELHI: India and France today pledged to explore new avenues for cooperation to strengthen exchange of information to prevent off-shore tax evasion.

“Recognising the shared commitment of India and France to cooperate in preventing off-shore tax evasion and the steps taken by both countries to strengthen exchange of information in recent years, the two leaders agreed to explore further avenues for joint co-operation, especially in capacity building and sharing of best practices, in line with G20 commitments,” said the joint statement.

India-France joint statement was issued on the occasion of the state visit of French President Francois Hollande here.

India has been spearheading the campaign at international fora for automatic exchange of information with a view to check tax evasion.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Hollande expressed their commitment to carry forward the dialogue on the EU-India Broad Based Trade and Investment Agreement ( BTIA).

Recently, the chief negotiators of India and EU took stock of the outstanding issues, including duty cut on automobiles and movement of professionals, that have held up talks on the proposed pact.

“France and India are committed to bring about a resumption of the negotiations as soon as possible,” it said.

The statement also underlined the need for increasing bilateral economic engagement.

The two leaders welcomed the conclusion of a MoU on cooperation in urban development between Telangana and the Bordeaux Metropole.

The two leaders emphasised that more such initiatives should be taken to enhance the economic ties.

Recalling the commitments made in the Indo-French Joint Statement issued in April 2015 for closer economic engagement, the leaders noted with satisfaction, the involvement of French companies in several new and ongoing projects in India in keeping with the ‘Make in India’ initiative.