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Thursday, 26 October 2017

El Sisi meets with French finmin, business leaders

French companies get contracts to help plan upgrade of Egyptian rail and light rail systems: Among the highlights for business on the third and final day of President Abdel Fattah El Sisi’s visit to Paris: Transport Minister Hisham Arafat signed an agreement with French state-owned railway company SNCF which would see it cooperate with Egyptian National Railways (ENR) to study developing a line connecting the new administrative capital with Egypt’s railway network and to study modernizing railway cargo transport. The agreement would also see SNCF provide technical assistance and training. Arafat also signed an agreement with light rail and metro operator RATP that would see it develop a plan on how to best operate the Cairo Metro 3 Line and provide maintenance for the Cairo Metro Line 1. The two governments also signed an agreement to study developing a transportation system for the city of Mansoura. Al Masry Al Youm has the details.

President El Sisi also witnessed the signing of 16 other agreements, the newspaper reports. Four of these were for loans from the French Development Agency that will, in sum, fund energy and healthcare projects nationwide as well as a sewage treatment plant in Alexandria and provide budget support for Egypt’s social safety net. French development finance institution Proparco will also provide funding for the development of six solar power plants in Benban. Two of these would be jointly developed by Électricité de France and Elsewedy Electric. Voltalia will be developing two other solar plants, while renewable energy group EREN will be building another two.

The signings followed a meeting with French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire and a dozen business leaders yesterday, the Associated Press reports. (Al Borsa puts the number of companies that met with El Sisi at 30). The president also met the head of the French National Assembly, François de Rugy, as well as Senate President Gérard Larcher to discuss parliamentary cooperation between Egypt and France.

Trade and Industry Minister Tarek Kabil also met yesterday with the Movement of French Enterprises (MEDEF) to discuss Egypt’s business climate following economic reforms. Kabil also participated in a meeting of the French-Egyptian Business Council that centered on talks to increase economic cooperation and investments between the two countries.

The minister also signed a cooperation agreement on promoting entrepreneurship with the Deputy Director General of the French Treasury, Thomas Courbe, Al Shorouk reports.

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