‘French cos may invest $10 bn in India over next 5 years’

France taking active part to boost Make in India and Skill India initiatives

January 26, 2016 12:35 am | Updated November 17, 2021 05:39 am IST

French firms have invested more than $1 billion annually in the last five years, says French Finance Minister Michel Sapin

French firms have invested more than $1 billion annually in the last five years, says French Finance Minister Michel Sapin

French companies are likely to invest almost $10 billion in India in the next five years and a major portion of this will be in the industrial sector making France an important player in the Indian government’s Make in India initiative to boost the manufacturing sector, the visiting French Minister for Finance and Public Accounts Michel Sapin said on Monday.

“This complementarity can also been seen in the context of other programmes of the Indian government,” Mr. Sapin said. He said France was training the Indian workforce under the ‘Skill India’ programme and was contributing actively towards it.

He said French firms had invested more than one billion dollars annually in the last five years. The minister said the country’s companies account for 10 per cent of solar capacity installed in India and they could increase their capacities by 2020-22.

There were over 400 French firms in India with a consolidated turnover of about $20 billion and France was the third largest foreign investor in India.

Mr. Sapin was speaking at an interactive business session organised by the industry body FICCI and the Embassy of France in India. He said French companies were known for their innovation and creativity and looked forward to tap the Indian domestic market.

“The economic presence of France in India goes back to a long time and is very diverse. This expression of interest in India did not wait for Indian GDP to supersede that of China,” Mr. Sapin said.

He said his government had asked French Development Agency (FDA) to earmark 60 per cent of total financial outlay to India. FDA, which finances development-oriented projects, operates in 70 countries. FDA committed euro 8.1 billion in 2014 in places across the world for many such projects.

To discuss the economic and financial subjects, Mr. Sapin met Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley whom he invited to begin an annual dialogue session on matters of common interests.

However, Mr. Sapin said Indian companies were too few in number in his country though France was one of the biggest recipients of foreign direct investment in the world. “I count all French companies in India to act as ambassador for our country and invite their counterparts to discover in France what they are missing,” he said.

Observing that France and India had a common objective of greater economic growth, he said both countries were resilient to recent intense movement of markets. The views of both the countries were also similar in fighting against financing terrorism and fiscal cooperation. “I have a lot of comfort to say that approach towards stability and methodical reform have started to bear fruit. From this point of view, I can only encourage the Indian government to pursue this reform,” Mr. Sapin said.

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