Home/ News / World/  France, India dial up investment discussions in Brexit backdrop

New Delhi: India and France are gearing up for a busy summer of economic diplomacy, with the Indian Embassy in Paris set to welcome French enterprises in April for investment discussions, people aware of the matter said. France is also seeking to draw Indian investments away from the UK, they said.

A delegation of top Indian CEOs is expected to attend President Emmanuel Macron’s “Choose France" business summit in May, where France is trying to draw investments, particularly in the tech industry. France’s recent success in attracting the highest amount of foreign direct investment (FDI) in Europe makes the event significant.

Economic ties between the two nations have strengthened in recent years as both sides have made efforts to grow the relationship beyond cooperation in the defence sector. Over 200 Indian companies, ranging from Wipro Ltd to Mahindra and Mahindra Ltd, have expanded into the European country.

France is keen to lure Indian businesses to invest in the country in the aftermath of Brexit. The plan, the people cited above said, is to attract Indian investments away from the UK and establish itself as the gateway for these firms to the European market. France’s strategy includes inviting a business delegation from India’s largest conglomerates to attend the “Choose France" summit.

Meanwhile, India has also made a concerted bid for investments from France.

France is the 11th largest foreign investor in India, with a cumulative investment of $10.49 billion from April 2000 to December 2022, representing 1.68% of the total FDI inflows into India, according to figures provided by the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT). Around 1000 French companies operate in India with a total revenue of over $20 billion, according to investment promotion agency Invest India. French businesses have invested in drugs, cement, industrial machinery and automobiles. Energy investments, both in traditional oil and gas and renewable technologies, are expected to be a key growth sector for French investment in India.

“French investments cleared in 2021 and 2022 include, amongst others, Edifixio (technological services), Ceva Santé Animale (pharmaceutical products & vaccines), Worldline (transaction processing services) and Systra (urban and rail transport engineering)," according to the Indian Embassy in France.

Bilateral trade between India and France has grown steadily in the recent past. Trade stood at $12.4 billion in FY22.

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Updated: 30 Mar 2023, 12:20 AM IST
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