Let's open our markets to each other: Hollande

Last Updated: Sat, Feb 16, 2013 05:12 hrs

If France and India, said French President Francois Hollande here today, open their markets to each other, it would amplify trade and investment, taking economic growth to a new scale.

He was speaking with heads of business at a meeting jointly organised by the three big chambers of commerce, Ficci, CII and Assocham.

"Both India and France can work together to face various global and local challenges together. Both will have to open their markets. France has not opened just a window but a full door for Indian companies, which can tap both the European and African markets," he said.

Adding: "France continues to attract the biggest foreign direct investment, largely due to quality of labour, research and development, innovation and world-class infrastructure. We are capable of allowing Indian companies to penetrate the European market. Similarly, French companies are investing in India to tackle the challenges of rapid urbanisation, habitat, infrastructure, access to potable water, space technology and the nuclear sector."

He avoided direct mention of the proposed 9,900 Mw Jaitapur nuclear project in Maharashtra, with supply of two reactors by Areva of France. However, he mentioned the bilateral civil nuclear agreement between India and France. "France is committed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and it is making all efforts for reprocessing of nuclear waste. France will partner India in its nuclear sector," he said.

He also had praise for this city's "great dynamics" and "cultural importance", plus its status as a financial and economic centre. It had, he said, also created great business families such as the Tatas and Ambanis, now increasing their global presence.

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