Alexandre Ziegler 
World Economy

French Firms to Invest Big in India

Describing India as a strategic and economic partner, France’s Ambassador Alexandre Ziegler said that French companies would be investing to the tune of €8 billion ($9 billion) in India in the next two-three years.
“We have invested $20 billion in India so far with a presence of 394 major French conglomerates. In the next two to three years, French companies will be investing €8 billion more in India,” Ziegler told reporters on the sidelines of a Confederation of Indian Industry event in Kolkata, India, PTI reported.
“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 Research and Development centers 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.
West Bengal has, however, failed to attract French investment in a big way so far and accounts for just 4% of total French FDI in India, he said, and hoped that more companies from his country will find interest in the state.
Many French companies are likely to participate in the Biswa Bangla summit early next year, he said.
On the issue of Britain’s exit from the European Union, Ziegler conceded the move has affected the organization 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.

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