France emerging key defence equipment supplier to India: Pranab

PTI Paris | Updated on February 20, 2011

Asserting that India and France are strategic partners, Finance Minister Mr Pranab Mukherjee on Saturday said the European Union member country is emerging as an important supplier of defence equipment to New Delhi.

Mr Mukherjee, who is here to attend the G20 meeting of Finance Ministers, held a bilateral meeting with French Minister for Economy, Finance and Industry Finance Ms Christine Lagarde.

The Finance Minister said that economic engagements between the countries are also increasing. “Our economic and strategic relationship with France is expanding. France is also emerging as an important supplier of our defence equipment and platform,” Mr Mukherjee told reporters here after the meeting.

France is the ninth largest foreign investor in terms of FDI in India. Between April 2000 and November 2010, France has invested about $2 billion in India in different sectors.

Besides sharing common concerns, both the ministers also discussed ways to enhance economic and strategic cooperation. “Our economic and strategic relationship with France is expanding. France is a strategic partner,” he said.

He said during the visit of the French President Mr Nicolas Sarkozy last year, important agreements were signed between different organizations of the countries. “Important agreement is with regard to nuclear cooperation,” he added.

Published on February 19, 2011

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