Kamal Nath seeks French investment in urban sector

Paris, June 27 (IANS) Urban Development Minister Kamal Nath Thursday urged French companies to seriously explore the "exciting opportunities" India's booming urban development sector presents.

Addressing a gathering of the French employers association here, Kamal Nath said the Indian growth rate of over 5 percent was still very attractive in today's context.

Most economies were struggling to reach even a 2 percent growth rate and some others, like France, were in recession.

"I am sure that it will climb back to its earlier rates of about 8-10 percent. But even today, India is an attractive destination for investments. Everything that is not boom is not gloom either," he told the captains of the French industry.

Kamal Nath arrived here Wednesday on a two-day visit to France, a country that prides itself on its excellent urban infrastructure including metros, civic amenities and well-planned cities and towns.

The meeting at Medef was attended by over 70 large and medium sized French companies.

The visit is in continuation of the agreement signed in October 2012.

"Basically, we would like to see the French companies participating in a much bigger way in India," the minister said.

"This is very important as 50 percent of the urban infrastructure investment has to come from the private sector," Kamal Nath told IANS.

He dismissed fears that there were increasing uncertainties about the economic policies of the Indian government and that was scaring the French and other foreign companies away.

"There is no uncertainty in our policies. We have always adapted a very calibrated approach to reforms, and we carry the process on in a smooth, uniform and transparent manner and that is why you see it is successful and India has never done a u-turn on the reforms put in place.

"With this calibrated approach, we also give time to our private sector to absorb the changes that are brought about in reforms.

"It is because of this approach that the economic liberalisation or reforms in India have been the most successful in the world," he added.

Kamal Nath said the enormity of the Indian opportunity could be understood from the fact that the total cement production in France was less than the cement produced by Lafarge in India.

He said there were many projects in the pipeline and his objective would be to attract more and more French companies into taking up more projects in the urban infrastructure space in India.

He said one of the key objectives of his visits was to attract medium sized French companies to invest in India as well.

"As the large companies invest more in India and they are successful, the medium sized companies will follow suit," the minister told IANS.

(Ranvir Nayar can be contacted at ranvir.mediaindia@gmail.com)

--

Get stories like this on the Yahoo app and discover more every day.
Download it now.

Matches

    • Team flag for Sri Lanka vs. Team flag for PakistanPAKSL
      5th ODI
      Sun, Jul 26, 2015
      Hambantota, Sri Lanka
      Pakistan in Sri Lanka ODI ...
      SL won by 165 runs
    • Team flag for Netherlands vs. Team flag for ScotlandSCONED
      Final
      Match abandoned
      Sun, Jul 26, 2015
      Malahide, Dublin, Ireland
      World Twenty20 Qualifier, ...
    • Team flag for Hong Kong vs. Team flag for IrelandIREHK
      3rd Place Play-off
      Match abandoned
      Sun, Jul 26, 2015
      Malahide, Dublin, Ireland
      World Twenty20 Qualifier, ...
  • No live matches are in progress.
    • Team flag for England vs. Team flag for AustraliaAUSENG
      3rd Test
      Wed, Jul 29, 2015
      Birmingham, England
      The Ashes, 2015...
      Upcoming match
    • Team flag for Bangladesh vs. Team flag for South AfricaSABAN
      2nd Test
      Thu, Jul 30, 2015
      Mirpur, Bangladesh
      South Africa in Bangladesh...
      Upcoming match
    • Team flag for Sri Lanka vs. Team flag for PakistanPAKSL
      1st T20I
      Thu, Jul 30, 2015
      Thu, Jul 30, 2015
      Colombo, Sri Lanka
      Pakistan in Sri Lanka T20 ...