French Government Focuses On Tamil Nadu As Its Business Hub

PUDUCHERRY: Chennai, and Tamil Nadu as a whole, is fast emerging as a hub of French business activities in the country, said French ambassador Alexandre Ziegler. “There are a total of 600 French companies in India and they currently employ 3.7 lakh people,” he said. “More and more investments are coming and they are mostly coming to the south. Chennai is becoming a key hub of our economic presence in India along with Bengaluru and Hyderabad.”

French automotive giant PSA Peugeot has proposed a ₹7,000 crore greenfield and brownfield project in Chennai. “Tamil Nadu is getting the PSA investment and both the greenfield and brownfield plants will be in this state,” said Ziegler. French investors are also looking to tap into India’s fast-growing startup eco system just as Indian startups are interested in the French market, he said. “We have a strong presence in Bengaluru and a developing one in Hyderabad and we are also doing projects with IIT Madras on startup development,” said Ziegler.

The French government’s decision to open a consulate in Chennai is partly to focus on this business opportunity as well as to position France as one of the top higher education destinations for Indian students. “Visa applications from this region have doubled in one year since we opened the consulate,” said Ziegler. “Two years ago, only 4,000 Indian students took French visas. This year we will hit 7,000 and our target is to reach 10,000 a year by 2020,” he said. “We want to set up French higher educational institutions in India and the response from the south has been very good.”

The French government will host the Choose France Tour in Chennai on January 31, 2019, in which 20 French universities will participate.

Source: The Times of India

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