French companies to invest 8 billion euros in India

Kolkata, Aug 19 (IANS) Describing India as a strategic and economic partner, France’s Ambassador Alexandre Ziegler on Friday said French companies would be investing to the tune of eight billion euros in India in the next two-three years.

“We have invested 20 billion USD in India so far with a presence of 394 major French conglomerates. In the next two to three years, French companies will be investing eight billion euros more in India,” Ziegler told reporters on the sidelines of a CII event here.

“We don’t look at India as a market. Rather India is an important strategic and economic partner. We are not just investing in India but also making in India and innovating in India. More than 25 R&D centres of various French companies are in India,” he said.

Besides strategic cooperation, Ziegler said the Indo-French economic ties have been steadily rising and sectors like renewable energy, sustainable urban development and agri-food and health care are set to witness increased mutual cooperation.

Inviting investment to his own country, the envoy said the recent terror attack in Nice in which at least 85 people were killed, has not affected France’s prospects as a preferred investment destination.

“Such attacks are highly condemnable but have been happening in several places. As a country we are doing everything possible to prevent any terror attacks. France has been a preferred investment destination with the presence of over 20,000 foreign companies employing in excess of two million people,” he said.

On the issue of Britain’s exit from the European Union, Ziegler conceded the move has affected the organisation but exuded confidence of EU continuing to do well.

“EU has been facing challenges and it is desirous that all your partners are there to fight those challenges. But then it is their decision and we respect that. As one of the founders members, France is not concerned about EU’s future. EU has been doing well and will continue to do so,” he added.

–IANS

and/kb/vt

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