France is one of the top foreign investors in India with more than 1,000 French companies having put in a total investment stock of $19 billion USD (2014), and this figure is poised to increase significantly over the next few years with the consolidation and extension of existing investments, as well as the arrival of new companies in the country (10 to 30 new French establishments are being set up every year in India). These companies also employ more than 3,00,000 skilled Indian workers across the country, placing France as one of India’s leading economic partners.
Ahead of Prime Minister Modi’s visit to France, the Indo-French CEO forum met and submitted a report to the two Leaders on 10 April. With Mr Laurent Fabius, Minister for Foreign Affairs, Prime Minister Modi also met the CEOs of French companies in the fields of infrastructure and defence on 10 April.
18. India and France noted that there has been an uneven and subdued improvement in the state of the global economy and agreed that implementing structural reforms and appropriate macroeconomic policies are necessary for attaining long term stability and growth of global economy. They expressed support for G-20 as the key Forum for international economic cooperation. They called for coordinated and concerted international action, including steps to manage spillovers arising from domestic policies, address tax base erosion and profit shifting, to promote tax transparency, facilitate automatic exchange of information and channelize long-term financing for infrastructure. These collective actions are essential to ensure sustainable growth.
19. Current global trends and rapid socio-economic changes in India are creating a range of new opportunities for the French and the Indian people to work together. Noting that there was considerable potential for expansion of economic ties, the two Leaders underlined the need to encourage Indian and French business and industry to further increase bilateral trade and investments between the two countries. President welcomed Prime Minister’s Make in India initiative, aimed at transforming India into a global manufacturing hub, acknowledged that it presented significant opportunities for French business and industry, and expressed France’s commitment to contribute to its success. In this context, India and France are committed to finding solutions to current market access issues hindering trade opportunities. They noted with satisfaction a number of new and ongoing projects of French companies in keeping with the "Make in India” policy. President appreciated Prime Minister’s initiative to receive delegations of French CEOs in infrastructure and defence sectors to encourage them further in this direction.
20. The two Leaders welcomed the Report presented by co-Chairs of India-France CEO’s Forum, which met in Paris on 9-10 April 2015 and stressed that the Forum has an important role to play in furthering business to business contacts and fostering a positive environment for enhancing bilateral trade and investments.
21. In the field of transport, the Leaders look forward to cooperating in areas such as modernization of the Railways and in high speed and semi-high speed rail projects, in urban transportation and in roads and welcomed the development of the cooperation between Indian and French railways through the agreement between Indian Railways and the French National Railways (SNCF) to co-finance an execution study by SNCF for a semi-high speed project on upgradation of the Delhi-Chandigarh line to 200 kmph and for redevelopment of Ambala & Ludhiana Railways Stations. The two sides noted with satisfaction the successful completion of a business development study for the Mumbai-Ahmedabad high speed corridor.
MoU between SNCF (French National Railways) and Indian Railways: co-financing of a feasibility study for a high-speed corridor between Delhi and Chandigarh (235 km, 200km/h) // signed on 10 April at the Elysée Palace
- India is in the process of building modern railway infrastructure (investments of137 billion USD over the next five years). In May 2014, SNCF initiated discussions with IR on a feasibility study for semi-high-speed trains in the Delhi-Chandigarh corridor (235 km, 200 km/h).