French Ambassador Francois Richier has said that the French government is open to more investment initiatives in Kerala.
Addressing a press conference at Union des Francais de Mahe during his visit here on Friday, he said the French government was interested in more investments in the State if the State government submitted draft proposals of infrastructure projects that were eco-friendly.
He said he would attend an investment meeting in Kochi on Saturday in which representatives of 40 French companies would take part. It was being held to see if there were any good prospects for French investments in Kerala.
‘‘We will discuss all opportunities in Kerala at the meeting,’’ he said adding that the French assistance for the Kochi Metro project was seen as major investment initiative.
Stating that French companies were among the largest investors in India, he said the French investment totalled $ 19 b, which is roughly equivalent to the French investment in China.
To a question, the French Ambassador said the Indo-French cultural ties were now very vibrant. More Indian paintings were exhibited in France and more French galleries were coming to India. More French books were being translated in Indian languages and vice verse, the French Ambassador said.
He said that his visit to this erstwhile French enclave was to meet the community of French citizens here and also the larger community.
To a question, he said the French government would be willing to help if the Mahe authorities submits plans for restoration of heritage buildings here. Writer M. Mukundan was present.