France City consular office to issue visas soon

France City consular office to issue visas soon

Exploring sister-state ties with Karnataka

France City consular office to issue visas soon

In an exclusive e-mail interview with Deccan Herald, Bonnafont also revealed that the Consulate General Office in Bangalore, opened last fall, would be upgraded in early 2010 to start delivering all visas to France. This, he said, will help in boosting trade and cultural links between Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and France.

Salarie en mission card (Worker send on assignment), he explained, has been brought into vogue to help transfer of highly qualified workers employed by foreign companies with presence in France. The card applies to workers seconded to a company in France, as also those being transferred to a company, in this case employed by French entity.

Further, a Competences et Talents Card, French equivalent of Highly Skilled Migrant Scheme, issued for initial period of three years, can also be availed. The main criteria being applicant must have credible professional project meeting the norms of National Commission.

Stating that France was also keen on cooperation in biotech, nanotechnology, semiconductor, aviation and aerospace, automobile besides IT & ICT, he said France was open to striking sister-state and sister-city alliances with Karnataka and Bangalore to undertake joint initiatives in these sectors. We want to expand in energy, infrastructure, environment, agriculture and agro food as well, he added.

Indian IT presence

Observing that France was keen on having more and more Indian IT companies setting up shop there, he said, those present such as Wipro, MindTree, Infosys, et al were welcome to expand their facilities.

While, according to 2008 figures, these three have led to creation of over 120 jobs in France, he said, over 50 Indian companies have a workforce of 6,073 with foreign direct investments of €147 million.

Further, 10 projects with potential of creating 370 jobs were in process, he noted. In 2008, India was 15th largest foreign investor in France in terms of number of jobs created or maintained. Between 2000 and 2008, major sectors for Indian investment were software and IT services (41.6 per cent of all Indian jobs created/maintained in France) which also accounted for over 40 per cent of all Indian businesses established during the period.

Pointing out that while initially Indian companies concentrated in Paris and Ile-de-France region, the new trend in Indian investments saw shift towards South of France specially Rhone-Alpes region and Sophia Antipolis, he said France, as Centre of Europe, offered excellent connectivity. Besides, France is an excellent entry point to the Mediterranean for Indian companies to explore as destination of choice to set up their base, he added.