NEED TO CREATE A BALANCE IN INDO-FRENCH BILATERAL TRADE: KAMALNATH
Date : 04 Feb 2009
Location : New Delhi
Shri Kamal Nath, Union Minister of Commerce & Industry, has stated that India is in a phase of rapid economic growth and its engagement with the world community is increasing. During the bilateral meeting with the French Minister of State for Foreign Trade, Ms. Anne Marie Idrac here last evening. Shri Kamal Nath informed that Indo-French trade was US $ 8.85 billion during 2007-08 (exports - $ 2.6 billion and imports - $ 6.25 billion) and added that there is a need to work together to create balance in bilateral trade. The meeting was attended by Shri G.K. Pillai, Commerce Secretary; Shri Ajay Shankar, Secretary, Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion; senior government officials and representatives from trade and industry from both the countries.
Interacting with the French Minister, Shri Nath informed that India is a growing market for French products, including luxury products and stressed about the importance of establishing linkages between SMEs on both sides for laying a strong foundation for growth of trade and investment flows. Both sides agreed for enhanced bilateral cooperation in areas like information technology & telecommunications, posts, energy, roads, urban development, railways and agriculture.
Discussing about the status and progress in WTO negotiations, Shri Kamal Nath said: “India continues to believe strongly in a rule-based, transparent and fair multilateral trade regime. One of the factors which will have an important bearing on the conclusion of the Round is whether the developed countries would be willing to show the necessary flexibility for finalising a multilateral deal. However, India has been engaging constructively and actively with other fellow member countries of the WTO in the expectation that this would be forthcoming. A conclusion would of course depend on whether the WTO Members are faithful to the mandate and the final outcome reflects a clear balance between market opening and the development needs of the majority of the membership”.
France is the 9th largest investor in India with cumulative FDI of US $ 1.3 billion since August 1991. Top sectors that attracted FDI inflows during 2000 to 2008 were: services; chemicals; cement & gypsum; automobile industry and petroleum & natural gas. Top Indian companies who invested in France are Ranbaxy Laboratories; Electrosteel Castings; Pan Music & Magazines. The major French companies who have invested in India are – Aventis Cropscience SA; Essilor International; Alcatel CIT; Arevat & D Holding SA; and Ciments Francails.
India’s main exports to France during 2007-08 included RMG cotton; petroleum (crude & products) machinery & instruments; transport equipments; footwear of leather etc., while India’s major imports from France were: electronic goods, iron & steel; gold; chemical products; machinery etc.