French and Egyptian officials and business leaders met here Thursday to discuss ways of boosting trade and investment as part of an ongoing policy reinforced Wednesday by President Francois Hollande and President Abdel Fatah Al-Sisi in meetings here.
The two leaders announced contracts and projects worth Euros 700 million (USD 875 million) after their meeting, mainly for investment by the French Development Agency and for a contract to refurbish the Cairo subway.
On Thursday, French Junior Minister for Foreign Trade, Tourism and French living abroad, Matthias Fekl met with Egyptian Industry, Trade and Small Enterprise Minister Mounir Abdelbour to discuss trade and business links.
In the seventh meeting of the Franco-Egyptian Business Council, which was opened by Al-Sisi, the two ministers were joined by 60 senior business representatives from both countries.
"With more than 85 million inhabitants, Egypt is one of the principal trade partners for France in the Mediterranean area. About 100 French companies operate there and employ 30,000 people," a French statement from the Trade Ministry said.
The statement noted that exports to Egypt were rising sharply and had increased 10 percent this year.
France is particularly interested in participating in Egypt's major infrastructure projects, particularly in the transport and energy sectors.
Affirming Wednesday that "France is a partner for Egypt," Hollande said he will travel there next year and will visit the Suez Canal zone to witness the latest developments.