Tata Group Chairman N Chandrasekaran has been conferred France's highest civilian award, Chevalier de la Legion d'honneur, for his efforts to boost India-France trade relations.

The award was bestowed by French Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs Catherine Colonna, who gave the award on behalf of French President Emmanuel Macron.

"Our Chairman N Chandrasekaran receives the Chevalier de la Légion d’honneur from French Minister for Europe & Foreign Affairs @MinColonna. He has conferred the highest civilian award of France for his contributions to strengthening the trade relationship between India & France," Tata Group, which is India's one of the biggest business houses, said in a tweet.

Catherine Colonna also tweeted, saying that Tata group of companies "is a major player in the Franco-Indian partnership: I had the pleasure of presenting its CEO, on behalf of the President of the Republic, with the insignia of Chevalier de la Legion d'honneur. Dear Natarajan Chandrasekaran, you are a friend of France".

Emmanuel Lenain, Ambassador of France to India, said N Chandrasekaran is a "true friend of France". "FM @MinColonna today conferred the highest French civilian honour, Légion d'Honneur, on @TataCompanies' chairman for his contribution to India-France ties."

Jawed Ashraf, Ambassador of India to France and Monaco, also congratulated Chandra on being conferred Legion d’honneur by the French FM. It is a "recognition of his global standing as a corporate leader, and also of the importance of business ties in the India-France strategic partnership," said Ashraf.

The Chevalier de la Légion d'honneur, which translates to "Knight of the Legion of Honor," is a prestigious award in France. It is the highest civilian distinction awarded by the French government to individuals who have made significant contributions to society or have achieved outstanding accomplishments in their respective fields. The award was established by Napoleon Bonaparte in 1802 and is governed by the National Order of the Legion of Honor.

The Legion of Honor is conferred upon both French citizens and foreigners who have demonstrated exceptional merit, whether it be in the fields of arts and culture, science, literature, military service, social causes, or any other domain that contributes to the welfare and honor of France.

Notably, on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the India-France Strategic Partnership, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will attend this year’s Bastille Day Parade as Guest of Honour in Paris on 14 July 2023.

An Indian armed forces contingent will also participate in the Parade alongside its French counterparts. The Prime Minister’s visit is expected to start the next phase in the India-France Strategic Partnership in terms of strategic, cultural, scientific, academic, and economic ties.

The visit will also deliver common initiatives to respond to key challenges like climate change, biodiversity loss, and the achievement of Sustainable Development Goals, and will be an opportunity for India and France to reaffirm their commitment to multilateralism, including in the context of India’s G20 Presidency.

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