Union Minister of Commerce & Industry Anand Sharma has invited French companies to participate in key sectors in India and also emphasised the need for the larger French companies to support the French small and medium enterprises in developing its presence in India.
In a bilateral meeting with French Minister for Foreign Trade Ms. Nicole Bricq on Tuesday in Paris, Sharma stressed the need for the French government to provide strategic support to French industries interested in doing business with India while assuring that the Government of India was committed to providing a conducive and positive policy environment for foreign investments in several key sectors.
Earlier Monday, the Indian Minister inaugurated the 6th Session of the India-France CEOs Forum along with the French Minister for Economy and Finance, Mr. Pierre Moscovici.
Addressing the Forum, Sharma highlighted the strong growth fundamentals of India which remain rooted in deep democratic values and urged the French investors to enhance their engagement of Indian firms and investment in India to develop a win-win partnership in keeping with the elevated political relations between the two strategic partners.
He said that the larger French companies should support the French SME sector in developing its presence in India.
Outlining the provisions of Indiaâ€™s National Manufacturing Policy (NMP), the Indian Minister told the French CEOs about the opportunities of investment being created in the green field integrated and self-governing National Investment and Manufacturing Zones (NIMZs) both along and outside the Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor.
Sharma also addressed issues raised by some French CEOs, the most important being the issue of patent protection in India. He clarified that Indiaâ€™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.
On the Novaritis case, he explained that it was ruling by the highest Court and not an executive pronouncement.
The French Minister for Economy and Finance said that Indiaâ€™s growth potential was well understood in France as was exemplified by the presence of more than 700 French companies in India. He also stated that France supported signing of the India-Europe Broad-based Investment and Trade Agreement (BTIA) in the spirit of mutual benefit.
Sharma also held meetings with CEOs of French companies with a large presence in India including La Farge and Capgemini. The French CEOs apprised Sharma of their future plans in India and offered suggestions to further improve the investment climate.
Sharma also met French President Hollande and stressed the shared global and strategic vision of India and France while thanking the French President Mr. Francois Hollande for the keen interest shown in India-France commercial relations.
During his meeting Bricq, Sharma stressed the need for strong French support at the political level for early conclusion of the India-EU BTIA which would contribute to growth in bilateral trade and investment. He also invited the French Minister to visit India at her earliest convenience.