India will see investments in excess of US$ 100 billion in next two decades in the nuclear power sector at least a quarter of from France alone. Addressing the 4th India-France CEOs Forum at Paris yesterday, the Union Minister for Commerce, Industry and Textiles, Shri Anand Sharma said in the energy sector, we greatly value our partnership with France especially in the nuclear power sector where France is a global leader. In the coming two decades, India will see investments in excess of US$ 100 billion in the nuclear power sector alone and I am sure that at least a quarter of these will come from France.
The Minister said that that though investment of over US$ 14 billion from France are in the pipeline there is a need to enhance French investment in India. Given the strong position of French companies, the level of French investment in India is way below the potential. There are 800 French companies in India which engage over 80,000 people and we would like to see this growing in the coming years Shri Sharma said. He invited fashion design institutes from France to bring their best practices to India in partnerships with the indigenous lifestyles industry. Referring to recent decision to allow 100% FDI in single brand retail Shri Anand Sharma expressed the hope that French luxury goods companies will establish manufacturing bases in India. This will create a win-win situation as India has emerged as a huge market for luxury goods and establishment of manufacturing in India will provide maximum value said the Minister.
Recalling the success of Capgemini in India, which alone employs 30,000 people in developing off shore IT solutions across seven Indian cities, Shri Sharma invited French investments in Indian IT sector. He said that the Indian BPO operations have moved up the value chain from being a mere data processing centres to carrying out value added research and software development. Similarly, , the Minister welcomed the interest shown in the Indian automobile sector by French companies like Renault and Peugeot for investing in India and also by Michelin which would strengthen India™s position as an automobile and auto part manufacturing hub.
Talking about establishment of National Investment and Manufacturing Zones as green field integrated townships under recently announced National Manufacturing Policy, Shri Sharma invited collaboration with French companies in both the establishment of these Zones as well as in making investment for manufacturing. French expertise in urban water management and waste water systems would be especially useful in developing these regions. France has some of the largest infrastructure and utility management companies of the world including Vinci, Bouygues, Suez who would stand to gain from investments in India.
Bilateral trade between India and France stands at over US$ 8 billion. Today, France is India™s 5th largest trading partner and investor in Europe, and 4rd largest recipient in Europe of Indian investments.