Retail FDI debate stirs interest in French MPs

New Delhi: On a visit to India, a group of French MPs are "watching with interest" the heated debate here on allowing FDI in the retail, a move which could benefit companies like France-based Carrefour.

In their discussions with the India-France Parliamentary Friendship Group presided over by BJP MP Yashwant Sinha, the French delegation led by Nicolas Forissier were keen to know about India's strategy vis-a-vis China.

During the discussions, Forissier said the French side got to know the various aspects of the "heated debate" on FDI in retail and underlined that French companies like Carrefour were looking forward to develop partnerships in India.

"I can understand, it is not easy to change a system that has been working in India for years," Forissier said.

He was quick to add that the visiting MPs did not have any judgement to give on the internal debate.

However, Forissier said more and more French companies should develop partnerships in India which would be among the top three economies in the world in the future.

The delegation called on Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar on Monday.

Forissier is leading a delegation comprising Jean Launay, Christian Blanc and Jean-Francois Mancel on a six-day visit to India during which they will also tour Bengaluru, Chennai and Puducherry.

Asked about the Rafale bid for Indian Air Force contract for 126 medium multi-role combat aircraft, Forissier said he was confident that the French company would be successful.

"We are very confident because we believe that we have offered the best plane which is adapted to Indian needs," he said on the bids for the 126 MMRCA, winner of which is likely to be announced later this month.