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French delegation in India

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French minister of economy and finance Christine Lagarde has asked India to liberalise its retail and insurance sector further.

“I talked assurance, I talked retail” , she said after her meeting with commerce and industry minister Anand Sharma on Monday. Ms Lagarde shared the experience of the retail sector in France , and said that a regulatory framework was in place so that farmers interest is protected. Mr Sharma said that policy formulation in a democracy is a calibrated procedure and feedback after consultations with the stakeholders has been very useful.

India allows 51% in single brand retail, but no FDI is allowed in multi-brand retail. Ms Lagarde is part of French President Nicolas Sarkozy’s delegation. Ms Lagarde said investment from French companies can go beyond 10 billion Euros by 2012 if sectors like insurance and multibrand retail are liberalised by India.

“There could be a lot more than that for sure, if it was possible to develop activities in insurance and retail,” she said. If the Indian authorities consider it sensible to open up the sectors, I know French companies will significantly expand their activities, she said.

Source : The Economic Times