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Wednesday, 30 January 2019

Taking stock of what French companies pledged during Macron’s 2019 visit to Egypt

Macron has left the city. We take stock of the agreements signed during the French president’s three-day visit to Egypt, accompanied by a high-profile business delegation:

Elsewedy Electric, France’s MND partner on cable transport: Elsewedy Electric and French industrial group Montagne et Neige Développement (MND) announced that they are forming a consortium to develop urban cable transportation in Egypt, according to an emailed statement (pdf). The consortium aims to develop cable transportation as both a solution to intractable urban transportation problems and a way to further enhance access to tourist sites across the country, the statement read. The consortium is already in talks with local authorities over several projects. “The challenges in cities and touristic areas are important in a country like Egypt that has in 2018 more than 97 mn inhabitants, and who will reach 20 mn tourists per year in 2020,” said CEO Ahmed Elsewedy. “Cable transport is one of the mobility solutions that is the most adapted to this demographic dynamic.”

Schneider Electric is investing EUR 35 mn in Egypt in 2019, focused primarily on its east Cairo factory as it looks to double its production capacity by June, a company official told Al Mal. The French company, which currently exports about 30% of the factory’s production, wants to double exports as it uses Egypt as a regional export hub. Schneider Electric is also in talks with Russia’s Rosatom to provide electric equipment to the planned nuclear power plant in Dabaa.

Insurance provider AXA Egypt has also pledged EGP 1 bn of long-term investment in the healthcare sector on the back of a memorandum signed yesterday with the Health Ministry, the company said in a press release (pdf). The company gave no specifics on the investments.

Cairo Metro Line 3 contracts signed: The National Authority for Tunnels signed the initial contract for the operation and maintenance of Cairo Metro Line 3 with France’s RATP Dev, according to an emailed statement. Line 3 currently consists of nine stations, with a planned expansion to include a total of 13. The inauguration of the four-station Line 4 was planned for 25 January.

Misr Insurance Holding Company (MIHC) also signed yesterday an MoU with France’s Cerway “to support the quality of refurbishment projects in Cairo’s city center … and enhancing the quality of MIHC’s distinguished real estate portfolio,” MIHC Chairman Basel El Hini said.

Orange Egypt and Valeo Egypt were among the French CIT companies that signed agreements on training with the state’s ITIDA, the domestic press reports.

More from Orange: Orange, a high-profile sponsor of this summer’s African Cup of Nations, had global boss Stéphane Richard in town for the delegation. He met yesterday with Prime Minister Moustafa Madbouly. He pledged an EGP 250 mn commitment to renewables and said the company will expand its presence in Upper Egypt and do more with SMEs. Orange is also looking at e-healthcare services and cybersecurity in Egypt.

Wait, we’re still not done: Suez Canal Authority boss Mohab Mamish inked initial contracts yesterday with France’s Bolloré Logistics to build and operate a c. USD 200 mn roll on, roll off (RORO) specialized area on the new platforms of the East Port Said Port, Mamish said, according to Al Mal.

Macron ended his visit to Cairo by meeting with Coptic Orthodox Pope Tawadros II and Al Azhar’s Grand Imam Ahmed Al Tayeb,the French president said in a tweet. Macron toured St Mark’s Cathedral in Abbasiya to show France’s support for Copts. He also hailed Al Azhar’s role in standing against religious extremism during his meeting with Al Tayeb.

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