Bengal a favourable investment destination: French envoy


Kolkata : French Ambassador to India Dominique Girard Thursday said the ongoing disputes over land acquisition in West Bengal would not pose a problem for French investments in the state.

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"Over the years, West Bengal has become a very favourable destination for French investors. Many companies have already shown interest in coming to Bengal in the last three years and now over a dozen French companies are there in the state," Girard said.

"That (unrest over land acquisition) would not be a problem in French investments in West Bengal," Girard said when asked about the protests at Singur and Nandigram.

Girard was here to present the French government's "Office de l' Ordre national du merite" award (Officer of National Order of Merit) to Mahendra Kumar Jalan, the honorary French consul in Kolkata.

On the sidelines of the function, Girard told IANS there would be more French investments in IT, food processing, agriculture and transportation in the state.

"Right now almost 10,000 people are employed in many French IT companies here and this figure is fast increasing," the ambassador said.

"Three years ago there were some prejudices about West Bengal among French investors but now, thanks to the state government's sincere approach, it's over."

Jalan said: "The recent land acquisition problem in Singur and Nandigram will not be an impediment for future French investment in Bengal.

"I hope a new model of land acquisition would be developed by the West Bengal government very soon to tackle any further problem over this issue," he said.

Jalan was given the award for his distinguished service towards development of relations between India and France, especially in the field of culture and trade.