India-European Union FTA talks to resume after new government: French Ambassador Francois Richier

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French companies have invested around USD 19 billion in total till date in India

Economic Times, India

India-European Union FTA talks to resume after new government: French Ambassador Francois Richier

By PTI

23 April 2014

NEW DELHI: Negotiations between India and the European Union for the free trade agreement (FTA) are expected to start after the new government assumes office, French Ambassador Francois Richier said today.

"...negotiations have been going on for long time, it includes elements on the automobile sector...negotiations were on hold during the electoral period. So as soon as the new government is formed I assume that the negotiations will start...no idea of a time table," Richier told reporters here.

Richier, who was speaking on the sidelines of an event related to Paris International Auto Show, said French companies have invested around USD 19 billion in total till date in India.

When asked if he sees the investments going up, Richier said: "Yes...the flux of French companies investment in Indian over the last few years in plus one billion a year and I see that to continue".

The approach of France companies is long-term, not just make money and wrap up. Many French companies have Indian CEOs so they are ready to be part of Indian economy, he added.

India EU FTA has missed several deadlines for conclusion due to major differences from both the sides on issues like reduction of duty in sectors such as auto, wines and spirits and opening of services sector. The talks started in June 2007.

Speaking at the event, Paris International Motor Show Executive Director Thierry Hesse invited Indian companies to participate in the show, which is scheduled to be held between October 4-19.

"Paris Motor Show is the oldest and the largest automotive show and we invite Indian companies to participate in the event," Hesse said.

He added that in past various Indian manufacturers including Mahindra & Mahindra, Bajaj and Tata Motors through Jaguar Land Rover had participated in the show.

"We don’t have any confirmations from Indian firms till now for this year’s show but we are open and expect them to participate in the show," Hesse said.

Over 12 lakh people visited the last edition of Paris International Motor show, Hesse said.

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