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French firms still sometimes 'too cautious' when it comes to doing business in India: French envoy

twitter-logo PTI        Last Updated: October 12, 2018  | 19:27 IST

New Delhi, Oct 12 (PTI) French companies are still sometimes "too cautious" when it comes to doing business in India and Indian companies could also "do much more" in France, its envoy Alexandre Ziegler has said. He, however, said there is clearly a momentum in these spheres. Ziegler was addressing business leaders from both the countries at the first edition of the Indo-French Business Awards 2018 held at the Ambassador's residence here on Thursday night. "French companies are reinforcing their footprint in India. Almost 600 French companies are now established in this country. A continuous flow of new investments places France among the top countries in terms of FDI. More than 350,000 workers are employed in French companies within all sectors of activity," he said. Ziegler said this year has been "particularly rich and meaningful" for the Indo-French business relations. "The State visit of President Emmanuel Macron in March was outstanding in many respects and particularly in its economic outcomes. It started a new momentum and your esteemed presence, with an exceptional turnout tonight, speaks volumes on the dynamic of our relations," he said. On the other side, Indian companies are also doing more and more in France and "150 Indian companies have already decided to invest in our country", he said, adding, this figure is "on the rise" this year. But, beyond those good results, he said, he thought there was still a "huge room for progress on both sides". "French companies are still sometimes too cautious when it comes to doing business in India, and Indian companies could also do much more in France. But there is clearly a momentum," the envoy said. A special dinner, with a curated French menu, was hosted by the ambassador to celebrate the Indo-French economic partnership. The occasion also saw the IN2France investment event being hosted in the sprawling lawns of the envoy's residence. Organised by the Indo-French Chamber of Commerce and Industry (IFCCI), the nominations of the IFB Awards 2018 closed with more than 50 nominees. The jury - industry specialists from various fields - had shortlisted about 20 companies across five award categories. The winners were -- Best SME of the Year (Technique Solaire); Best Entrepreneur of the Year (Suzette Gourmet); Best French Group in India (Schneider Electric India); Best Indo-French Cooperation (Safran India and Alstom Transport India); and Most Innovative Product/Service of the Year (Elior India Catering), the French Embassy said in a statement Friday. The Jury's Special Award was won by Kazem Samandari, Founding Chairman of bakery house L'Opéra. Payal S Kanwar, Secretary General of IFCCI, said, "French companies are doing phenomenally well in India and we see a growing interest of new companies wanting to set base in the country. The Indo-French Business Awards symbolise the celebration of their achievements in India." Sophie Clavelier, Director of Business France for South Asia, said, "I believe such event as this one today will sparkle interest among Indian investors to choose France as their next destination." PTI KND ZMN

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