Despite the current tough economic situation, developed countries continued to attract FDI inflows in 2011 with a rise of 18 per cent ($753 billion).

This year the delivery of Airbus is clearly on the rise and with €350 million at year end, Indian agriculture surplus with France has never been higher.

The newly Appointed  French Ambassador to India Francois Richier. after Francois Hollande elected as French President, is confident about lndo-French trade and investment relations. Excerpts from an interview:
What are the implications of a change in Government in France on Indo-French trade and investment relations?
The new French President Francois Hollande confirmed to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, during the G20 Summit in Mexico last may, that the strategic partnership between our tvvo countries would continue to be the mainframe of our relations. As for trade and investments, most French companies with a global strategy have already set up shop in India, not for short-term gains but for along-term presence. In return, we expect Indian investments in France. I believe that trade and investment relations between two democracies are, in great part, immune to political changes.
How do French companies view India given that there is a perception that it is difficult to do business here?
Most of our global firms have Indian subsidiaries and all of them are here to stay. Nevertheless, you will never hear a private company not wishing for fewer restrictions, similarly, few will not plead for lower customs duties and taxes to increase their opera­tions – be it in India or elsewhere. Although India is no longer perceived as a closed market, companies feel that it still suffers from some of the stigmas of the “license Raj”. Our companies are confident that the Indian authorities are taking the right steps to make it a attractive destination to invest and develop one’s business interests.
What has been the impact of the Euro Zone crisis on Indo-French trade and investment relations?
Despite the current tough economic situation, developed countries continued to attract FDI inflows in 2011 with a rise of 18 per cent ($753 billion). The European Union not only remained the main beneficiary of these overall inflows (55 per cent of the total) but also saw a strong spike in FDI in 2011 (32 per cent).
France retained its position in Europe as far as employment-generating FDI is concerned, ranking second in 2011 (accounting for 17 per cent of the total investment projects in the European market), behind the UK. France is the third among top European destinations receiving Indian investments. Indian entrepreneurs launched 12 new projects a- year in 2010 and 2011 on our territory, the current total standing at around 100 Indian projects. These have generated approximately 5,600 jobs
Thus, despite the international crisis, France remains a land of opportunities for Indian companies, whether they wish to be es­tablished there (83 per cent of the projects initiated by Indian companies in 2011 were newly founded) or be associated with French companies.
In December 2010 the leaders of the two countries set a bilateral trade target of €12 billion. Are we on course to achieve this? How?
The target you are referring to was set in January 2008. The crisis was not yet a looming reality; it later took its toll on our trade in 2009 but in 2010 our bilateral trade (both ways) grew by 30 per cent and in 2011 again by six per cent. Our latest figures (roughly E7.5 billion by the end of 2011 for goods only) indicate that we could come close to the target in 2013, particularly if, in addition to the traditional customs statistics, we consider trade in services.
This year the delivery of Airbus is clearly on the rise and with €350 million at year end, Indian agriculture surplus with France has never been higher.
Tho bilateral trade balance is heavily  in India’s favour. What steps are being taken to correct that?
One should never forget that beyond the widening of the French deficit with India, there are some structural factors for this, the increase  this was an Occasion for both leaders to reaffirm their shared vision and values and to announce their determination to give a new impetus to the into-French Strategic Partnership and greater content to our economic and commercial rela­tions, while expanding ties in the fields of culture, science and technology and education.

Indo-French Civil Nuclear Cooperation Growing Deeper :

landmark Agreement on Civil Nuclear Cooperation between India and France was signed during the visit to France of PM Dr. Manmohan Singh in September 2008. This has resulted in collaboration in r,!l_ally related areas and both countries u4ve concluded a number of agreements.
During the then President Sarkozy’s visit to India in December 2010, a General Framework Agreement and an Early Works Agreement were signed between NPCIL and AREVA. Now, also European Pressurized Water Reac­tor have become the favorites among the Indian policy makers as far as the nation’s nuclear energy is concerned. Though the technology still untested it uses the resources which India is rich in and thus finds that strategic favour among the policy makers. Indo-Freneh Defense Deal A Paradigm Shift in “Deal-Mak­ing” : India entered into defence deal . with France recently over its largest import of MMRCA built by French company Rafale.
With other European nations, also we have strong cultural and economical linkages that are grow­ing day-by-day. Some of them have been highlighted in boxes.Here, we are analysing, very briefly, India’s some important inter­action with other EU nations.

Indo-German Project to Conserve Traditional Rice Landraces :

Kerala’s Wayanad district has large areas of paddy fields, with many rice landraces cultivated by indigenous tribes, who constitute a large part of the popula­tion. Here, the BioDIVA project, jointly undertaken by German and Indian researchers, is seeking to promote agro­biodiversity, enabling small and mar.


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