Sisi, Hollande call for closer French-Egyptian economic ties

GMT 01:33 2016 Tuesday ,19 April

Arab Today, arab today Sisi, Hollande call for closer French-Egyptian economic ties

Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi and Francois Hollande
Cairo - XINHUA

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi and his visiting French counterpart Francois Hollande witnessed the inauguration of the Egyptian-French Economic Summit in Cairo on Monday.

According to the state-run MENA news agency, around 60 French companies, in addition to the ministers of industry, investment, international cooperation, transport and electricity participated in the forum.

"Paris chose to fully support Cairo in order to position both countries' relations towards long-term projects," Hollande said during his speech at the Egyptian-French Business Forum.

The large presence of visiting French companies proves how confident they are regarding Egypt's future, he said.

The French president pointed out that there are already 150 branches of French companies operating in Egypt with 35,000 Egyptian employees, adding that France is Egypt's sixth largest foreign investor and plans to increase its investments in the country.

Egypt wants to confront its serious challenges, mainly the security situation, terrorism and the regional wars, he stressed.

President Sisi highlighted the importance of benefitting from the distinguished relations which bind Egypt and France, deeming them an example to be followed regarding cooperation between the north and south of the Mediterranean.

President Sisi also informed the Forum that France is Egypt's ninth trade partner with a 2.58 billion U.S. dollars volume of trade exchange in the past year.

He praised the role the French companies operating in Egypt played as they offered their expertise through training and knowledge transfer.

Furthermore, Sisi called for increasing economic relations between both countries, hoping that the Egyptian-French Business Council would generate a fruitful outcome for both parties.

Hollande arrived in Egypt on Sunday for a two-day visit at Egypt's invitation, in support of the Arab country in the face of Western concerns over human rights and security conditions.

Both leaders witnessed on Monday the signing of several cooperation initial agreements between the two countries in the fields of economy, industry, tourism and culture.

In addition to mutual cooperation, the two leaders discussed a number of regional issues including a peaceful resolution for the Syrian crisis, security development in Libya and Yemen as well as the two-state solution for the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

Egypt has already received six Rafale fighter jets and FREMM frigate from France as part of a deal signed in mid-February 2015, which is worth 5.6 billion U.S. dollars and includes handing Egypt 24 Rafale warplanes in total, besides the frigate.

Hollande came to Cairo from Beirut during a four-day regional tour that includes Lebanon, Egypt and Jordan.

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