France to invest $13 billion in India by 2012

December 6th, 2010 - 8:38 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Dec 6 (IANS) French companies are committed to investing over $13 billion in India by 2012 and the two countries are targetting doubled bilateral trade at almost $16 billion in the same period, an official said Monday.

“We have committed 10 billion euros ($13 billion) foreign direct investment in India by 2012. It will be in different sectors including retail,” French Minister of Economy and Finance Christine Lagarde told reporters here.

Lagarde, who is part of the delegation accompanying French President Nicolas Sarkozy, said France had urged India to liberalise foreign direct investment norms in the retail and insurance sectors.

Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma said the government was committed to create an investor friendly environment. “As far as retail is concerned, our policy framework is calibrated,” Sharma told reporters after meeting the French business delegation here.

India and France also hope to double their bilateral trade in two years.

“This year we hope to cross $8-billion-mark and have set a target of reaching 12 billion euros ($16 billion) by 2012. I am sure that we will achieve it,” Sharma said.

Lagarde pointed out that 750 French companies were currently operating in India. “They employ nearly two lakh people. We are committed to increase that.”

Invest India, a joint venture between the government and the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI), Monday signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Invest in France Agency to facilitate two-way investment by providing practical information to enterprises.

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