KARACHI - The French Consul General and Madame Christian Ramage hosted their second grand and rocking National Day reception here the other day to celebrate the Bastille Day.The function, held in the premises of Alliance Francaise, doubled as a commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the publication of the book ‘Les Miserables’ by the great French writer Victor Hugo. Speaking on the occasion, the CG stated that France has a strong and cordial bilateral relation with Pakistan and trade between them has become stronger with the profits of French companies in Pakistan, viz Total, Sanofi, Aventis, Schneider, Mazars and L’Oreals having grown healthier. Encouraged by them, some new companies have arrived since 2011 to invest and enter into partnerships with Pakistani companies. These are Gaz de (power sector), Advans Pakistan and Horus (Micro-financing banks) and Hyperstar (a partner company of Carrefour catering to the household needs of families).In fact it is interesting to note that this fiscal year the balance of payment has tipped in favour of Pakistan.He informed that the gathering of fellow diplomats, city elites, the French and Pakistani businessmen and eminent personalities from other walks of life, that though voting was not compulsory in France, democracy was so strongly entrenched in the hearts and minds of the French people, that 82 per cent of the 42m voters in France headed to polling stations of their own volition. to cast their vote and choose a leader for the next term.