India-France trade target missed due to economic crisis, says official

India-France trade target missed due to economic crisis, says official Chennai: The European economic crisis has hit the trade relations between India and France missing the target of reaching 12 billion euro by 2012, according to a top French diplomat.

"Due to the economic crisis, the trade was hit. We had set a target of 12 billion euro by 2012. But we did not reach (that figure). Last year, the trade was only Euro nine billion last year", France Ambassador to India Francois Richier said.

Noting that there were over 300,000 Indian nationals working in French companies which have set up base in India, he said, the delay in signing of Free Trade Agreement between India and European Union also had an impact on the trade relations between France and India.

According to him, France based auto-major Renault, float glass manufacturer Saint Gobain, global tyre major Michelin were some of the major French investments made in India.

Besides, as part of attracting more Indian students opting to study in his country, France Embassy, Counsellor for Culture and Cooperation, Director, Max CLAUDET said that a special conference on "education" would be held in Chennai next month in which more than 300 French teachers representing French Teachers' Association would participate.

"As of last year 2,750 students took up higher education in France in areas of Engineering and in Master of Business Administration.We want that number to reach 4,000 in next two years", he said.