Former Egyptian Prime Minister Ibrahim Mahlab, along with French Ambassador to Cairo André Parant, will inaugurate on Tuesday an economic conference hosted by Egypt's weekly French newspaper Ahram Hebdo titled “French Investments in Egypt: Opportunities and Challenges.”
The conference, held in partnership with the French Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the French embassy in Cairo, will be held from 9am to 5pm at Al-Ahram's headquarters in Downtown Cairo, with instant translation from French to Arabic to be available via headphones.
France-Egypt economic relationship
"There are 130 French companies working in Egypt, with a total of 33,000 employees," Mahmoud El-Kaissy told Ahram Hebdo ahead of the conference, stressing that "France is one of the most important countries investing in Egypt."
Total French investment in Egypt stands at EUR4 billion, El-Kaissy said, adding that these investments are in the industries of energy, construction materials, electrical supplies, pharmaceuticals and food.
Egyptian exports to France are at around EUR900 million, while French exports to Egypt are worth EUR1.4 Billion, making France the sixth largest exporter to Egypt.
Majidier, also the executive regional director of Carrefour-Majid Al-Futtaim, told Hebdo that Carrefour plans to open 50 new branches in Egypt in the next five years.
Majidier added that international companies, including French companies, are waiting for the Egyptian government to take more reform measures that pertain to facilitating business and investment environments.
Hassan Benham, the director-general of the French Economic and Industrial Chamber in Egypt and one of the speakers at the conference, told Ahram Hebdo that there are currently a variety of investment opportunities in the Egyptian market.
He added that there is a large investment plan that includes a number national projects such as the Suez Canal Investment Zone, the new administrative capital and the new technological city near Ismailia, which confirms that investment is not limited only to Cairo.
The conference will host three sessions on French companies' success stories and challenges in the Egyptian market as well as investment opportunities in Egypt in the wake of Cairo's recent economic reform measures.
It will also include speeches from the deputy finance minister Ahmed Kochok, chairman of the General Authority for Investments and Free Zones Mohamed Khodear, the Chairman of the Egyptian Financial Supervisory Authority Sherif Samy, and Ater Hanoura head of Egypt's 1.5 milliion Feddans project
French development agency Agence française de développement (AFD) and Business France will be represented,
French business representatives will include Schneider Electric, Lafarge, Orange, Crédit Agricole, Axa insurance, Sanofi, Gras Savoye, Saint Gobain and Poma.