Pierre Gattaz, President of MEDEF (Movement of the Enterprises of France), who is on a three-city visit to India along with a 60-member delegation of large and small French companies, said French businesses can help India innovate and create jobs with skills and expertise in the areas of infrastructure, renewable energy, waste and water treatment and management, smart cities and transportation.

The delegation’s visit is a pre-cursor to French President Emmanuel Macron’s official visit to India later this year. The delegation visited New Delhi, Mumbai and Bengaluru to meet various Central and State ministries, industry bodies like FICCI, CII, large companies such as Michelin, Cap Gemini, Larsen & Toubro and leaders in innovation including Team Indus, among others.

“We want to be in India for the next 30 years and become one of the best partners in India’s development path. India’s needs correspond to the skills and expertise that French businesses can provide. Our objective is to create 1 million jobs a month and 12 million jobs per annum in India,” said Gattaz, during his visit to NUMA Bengaluru, a French start-up accelerator, to discuss investment opportunities between the two countries.

Currently, there are 450 French companies and around 100 independent French entrepreneurs across 1,000 locations in India, employing 3,50,000 people directly. “We have gathered immense data and researched untapped sectors, which we intend to recommend to our ministry and industry that will create an even more robust ecosystem than before. We are confident that President Macron’s visit later this year, will cement the partnership and improve bilateral and trade ties of our great democracies” said Gattaz.

Bilateral trade

Bilateral trade between India and France stood at €10 billion in 2016, a 26 per cent increase over the previous year. French businesses invested between €800 million and €1 billion last year in India.

MEDEF is the largest employer federation of France representing over 800,000 member-companies advocating the interest of large, medium and small enterprises at the local, regional, national and EU levels.