India Inc eager for French investment in N-power

Written by ASHOK B SHARMA | New Delhi, September 28: | Updated: Sep 29 2008, 01:35am hrs
After the nuclear suppliers' group (NSG) approval to the India-US civilian nuclear deal, several Indian companies are upbeat in attracting Euro 29 billion foreign direct investment in the country from French firms over the next 15 years.

The Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) is leading a 85-member delegation to the India-EU Business Summit beginning in Paris from September 30 to explore the possibilities for such and a cooperation

According to the FICCI general secretary, Amit Mitra India needs to look at allowing private sector participation for realizing its plans for adding 60,000 MW nuclear power. This would need an investment of Euro 97 billion ( Rs 6,000 billion). "India-France cooperation in the development of India's nuclear power is poised for a great leap as the country needs Euro 147 billion for infrastructure development alone," he said

Already L&T and BHEL are associated with NPCIL for erection, procurement and construction of nuclear plants. R-Power, NPCIL, JSW, BHEL and L&T have lined up plans worth over Rs 1,00,000 crore for foraying into this sector. L&T is planning to form a Rs 2,000 crore forging venture with NPCIL which has concluded exploratory meetings and technical discussions with three major reactor suppliers Areva of France, General Electric and Westinghouse Electric Corporation of US for supply of reactors for these projects.

"There is an expectation that another 200 medium and small firms will get into the act as ancillary producers to big companies, thereby giving a new dimension to efficient and cheaper power generation," said Mitra.

Taking advantage of the ninth India-EU Submit in Marseilles and India-EU Business Summit in Paris the Indian industry has planned a series of B2B meetings with the French industry in focus areas. France-India Business meetings have been organized in three key regions Paris on October 1, Lyon on October 2 and Strasbourg on October 3. The Indian commerce minister, Kamal Nath is slated to release the FICCI-YES Bank study on the possibilities of India-France cooperation in SME and life style sector.

The Indian medium sized industries are aiming at the possibility of technology transfer and investment from viable French small scale industries, particularly in food and agri-business processing, pharma biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, medical equipment, healthcare, chemical sector, new age entertainment sector, allied infrastructure sector, auto components and plastic apart from cooperation in IT and ITeS sector. Two way investment proposals for different sectors are also on the agenda.

India-French Mediation and Arbitration Centre is slated to be launched on October 2 in Lyon as a joint initiative of FICCI Arbitration and Conciliation Tribunal and The Centre Interprofessionnel De Mediation Et D'Arbitration of France. The centre would resolve commercial disputes arising on account of trade between two countries.