France is demanding a reduction in Indian import tariffs on wine and alcoholic drinks claiming exports to India could be stepped up if barriers like import tariffs are relaxed and reduced.

According to Indian press reports, Jean Glavany, the French agriculture and fisheries minister said, while addressing an Indo-French seminar on agriculture and food processing technologies, imports by European Union from India was in the vicinity of E213m (US$191m) per year, but exports to India was worth about E14m.

Describing France as one of the largest wine producing countries in the world, Glavany favours intense talks between the two countries to reorient their trade activities under new patterns set by the World Trade Organisation.

Glavany also said that India needs strategic ties with French companies in food processing technology and infrastructural development for post-harvest handling systems and cold chains.

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