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France for Investing in Several Sectors in Bihar PATNA | DEC 04, 2013 Impressed with over 10 per cent

growth rate achieved by Bihar, France today said there was good prospect for French companies to invest in the state's education, power and hospitality sectors. "There is tremendous prospects for French companies to register its economic presence in Bihar in the field of education, power and hospitality sectors," French Ambassador Francois Richier told reporters at the end of his first three-day visit to the state. Richier said he would talk to about 350 French companies in India to make Bihar their destination. French investment in India at present stood at USD 18 billion. About 350 French companies in manufacturing, automobile, cement, mechanical engineering and beauty products had heavy investments in states like Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, NCR and Gujarat. He said that at a meeting with Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, whom he praised as a very positive man, he informed him that French companies could help in the state's endeavour to lay stress on the power sector. French company Snider Electric which specialised in manufacture of switch boards and solar energy could find good prospect in Bihar, he said. The ambassador, who visited Nalanda to see the site of new International Open University and the ancient one, said an MoU was signed between Nalanda International University and French Research school EFEO for educational exchange programmes of students and faculty members. He said there was also scope for student exchange with National Institute of Technology (NIT), Patna. There was possibility of opening French language schools in Patna and other parts of Bihar as also in history, Indology, environment science and

social studies, he said. The ambassador said that France had joined the world in condemning bomb blasts at Buddhist temple at Bodh Gaya on July 7. "The cowardly incident has not lowered travel by French citizens to Bodh Gaya," he added. He avoided questions on BJP Prime Ministerial candidate Narendra Modi and comparison with his Bihar counterpart. "I have come here to explore possibility of investments in Bihar and will not like to talk about political issues," he said. But, in reply to a question if there was any visa ban on Narendra Modi in France, he said: "No Indian citizen is on the sanctions list in France."