Union Minister of Commerce & Industry, Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution and Textiles, Shri Piyush Goyal met the Minister Delegate for Foreign Trade, Economic Attractiveness and French Nationals Abroad, Government of France, Mr. Olivier Becht yesterday as part of his visit to France.
The Ministers discussed their respective state of the economy where Mr. Becht highlighted that France has had the lowest inflation rate of 5.2% in the Euro Zone, which is half of the average of other EU countries; the unemployment stood at 7% and GDP growth in 2022 finished at 2.6%; expected growth is 0.6-1% for this year.
Shri Goyal mentioned that the Indian economy is stable. India is used to double-digit inflation and now we are 6 – 6.5%. from double-digit, he said. He shared that this year growth has been at 6.8% of GDP and a growth of 13% at nominal rates.
He shared that Trade has been growing and much more can be done. With the purchase of Rafale and the recent Airbus order, more value has been added to this partnership. Mr. Becht mentioned that bilateral trade was USD 15.1 Bn in 2021-22, doubled in the last decade; FDI has been USD 10 Bn from France which has been a top foreign investor in India. There is a will from French companies to invest in India, he added.
Indian companies are increasing investment in France and at the moment around 300 Mn Euro is invested, he shared. Shri Goyal highlighted that through breaking language barriers trade can further be expanded.
The Ministers discussed priority areas related to India – EU FTA negotiations where issues related to Market Access were deliberated. Shri Goyal further highlighted that India is looking to buy 2000 Commercial Aircrafts in the next 10 years and there is a huge opportunity to make commercial aircraft in India to meet domestic and International demand.
The Ministers also discussed mutual topics of interest at the World Trade Organisation.
Mr. Becht further dwelt on direct investments of French companies in India and shared that there is mutual opportunity in infrastructure, renewable energy and mobility. He highlighted that France has supported Public Projects in Kochi, Nagpur and Ahmedabad.
Shri Goyal invited Mr. Becht to India along with the French community at the sidelines of the G20 Trade Ministers meet in August, 2023.
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