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Clean energy, tech in focus as France looks beyond defence to boost business with India

France is a significant source of FDI in India with more than 1,000 French establishments already present in the country.

New Delhi: France, which has emerged as one of the closest strategic partners of India in recent years, is looking at bilateral business growth beyond defence by focusing on energy and technology, said an Indo-French trade body.

While defence has been a key element in bilateral trade, according to the Indo-French Chamber of Commerce and Industry (IFCCI), the share of aviation and aeronautics has fallen to 30 per cent in 2020, from 50 per cent in 2019.

However, it is not clear if the dip also includes the defence sector since the chamber does not maintain the numbers in that regard.

“Traditionally, it is true that a big chunk of Indo-French economic ties have been defence and aerospace. Now, we see a number of industries doing so well and coming into limelight, even if we take the last two years,” Payal S. Kanwar, director-general of IFCCI, told ThePrint in an interview.

She said there is an increased focus in the clean energy and digital sectors, and these are the fields where the French can offer more.

France is a significant source of FDI in India with more than 1,000 French establishments already present in the country.

According to the official figures, France is the ninth largest foreign investor in India with a cumulative investment of $9.67 billion from April 2000 to September 2020, which represents 1.93 per cent of the total FDI inflows.

The highest FDI equity inflows are in the services sector (19.22 per cent), with cement and gypsum products (10.05 per cent) in the second place, followed by air transport, including air freight, (8.13 per cent), petroleum and natural gas (7.70 per cent) and electrical equipment (5.74 per cent)

Source : The Print

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