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India, France agree to enhance bilateral cooperation

New Delhi: In a bid to strengthen economic relationship, India and France have agreed for enhanced bilateral cooperation in areas like IT and telecommunications, energy, roads, urban development, railways and agriculture.
“Indo-French trade was $8.85 billion during 2007-08... there is a need to work together to create balance in bilateral trade,” Commerce and Industry Minister Kamal Nath said on Tuesday evening after meeting with French Minister of State for Foreign Trade Anne Marie Idrac.
The minister also said that there is a need to establish linkages between small and medium enterprises on both sides to enhance trade and investment flows.
France is the ninth largest investor in India with foreign direct investment of $1.3 billion since August 1991.
Sectors that attracted FDI inflows in the last eight years include services, chemicals, cement, automobile industry and petroleum and natural gas.
Companies like Ranbaxy Laboratories and Electrosteel Castings have invested in France, while major French firms such as Aventis Cropscience SA, Essilor International, Alcatel CIT and Ciments Francails have invested in India.
India’s main exports to France during 2007-08 were cotton, petroleum machinery and instruments, transport equipment, leather footwear, while the country’s major imports from France are electronic goods, iron and steel, gold, chemical products, machinery.

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