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India seeks French investment in infra, transport, energy

NEW DELHI: India today sought investmentsfrom France in several sectors including infrastructure, transport, high technology and energy. 

The matter was discussed during the meeting of Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma with French Minister for Foreign Trade Nicole Bricq in Paris. 

Sharma also emphasised the need for strong French support at the political level for early conclusion of the India-EU Broad based Trade and Investment Agreement (BTIA). 

Several rounds of meetings have already been held between India and 
European Union (EU) since the negotiations for the BTIA were launched in June 2007 but both the sides are still engaged in bridging the gaps on several issues. 

Sharma also requested the French Minister to encourage "French companies to participate in key sectors in India such as infrastructure, transport, high technology and energy," an official statement said. 

Yesterday, while inaugurating the sixth Session of the India-France CEOs 
Forum in Paris, the Indian Minister urged the investors to enhance their investment here. 

Informing about 
the National Manufacturing Policy, he said that huge investment opportunities are present in the proposed National Investment and Manufacturing Zones (NIMZs). 

"The Indian Minister told the French CEOs about the opportunities of investment being created in the green field integrated and self-governing NIMZs both along and outside the Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor," it said. 

Meanwhile, some French CEOs raised the issue of patent protection in India. 

"He clarified that India's 
Intellectual Property laws were completely TRIPs compliant and India has used the TRIPs flexibility with far greater restraint than a number of other countries, including some developed countries," it added. 

On the 
NovartisBSE 1.33 % case, Sharma explained that it was ruling by the highest Court and not an executive pronouncement. 

The Supreme Court had dismissed Swiss drugmaker Novartis AG's attempt to win patent protection for its 
cancer drug Glivec, pointing out that it did not see Glivec as a new drug. 

Over 700 French companies are present in India. The bilateral trade between India and France in 2012-13 stood at USD 9 billion. India has received 
FDI worth USD 3.61 billion during April 2000 and April 2013.