Egypt hopes for more French investments, PM tells France's Hollande
Ahram Online, , Monday 18 Apr 2016

Egypt's Prime Minister Sherif Ismail expressed to French President Francois Hollande Egypt's hope for more investments during a meeting on Monday, the state-owned MENA agency reported.

Egyptian cabinet spokesman Hossam Qawish said that Ismail expressed his hope for more French investments in the field of new and renewable energy, as well as projects that would help in enhancing services provided to citizens and the transfer of advanced French technology to Egypt.

Ismail affirmed Egypt's commitment todecentralisation and service upgrades, adding that the local municipal elections would be held before the end of 2016.

The French president told Ismail that there was a readiness by French companies to increase investments in Egypt in several fields, including infrastructure, energy, electricity, tourism, culture, agricultural development and water treatment.

The Egyptian prime minister said that Egypt was looking forward to French support for a fund through the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development needed to execute strategic projects.

Ismail also expressed his hopes for France to take steps to promote French tourism to Egypt, especially with the Egyptian government’s efforts to ensure security at Egyptian airports.

Hollande said that France is keen on the return of French tourism to Egypt for its ancient civilisation and unique tourist sites.

Qawish added that Hollande praised the Egyptian government's efforts to accomplish economic reforms and provide a suitable environment for business and investment despite the challenges Egypt is facing.

Earlier, Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi said that Egypt was looking forward to a partnership with French corporations on major national projects such as the Suez Canal Development Zone at the opening of a Franco-Egyptian economic forum attended by his French counterpart during his second two-day visit to Egypt.

The two presidents have so far witnessed the signing of 18 financial deals worth more than 1.5 billion euros, as well as memorandums of understandings in the fields of transport, energy, renewable energy, gas and tourism.

The French president's second visit to Egypt in less than a year, since the New Suez Canal inauguration in August 2015, included talks with his Egyptian counterpart about regional issues and means to enhance bilateral relations and combat terrorism.