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President Of France Meets With Dangote,Others To Enhance Trade With France

President of France, François Hollande, last weekend met with top 10 entrepreneurs across Middle East, Europe and Africa in Paris to deliberate on ways of enhancing and promoting trade relations with Europe.

The meeting became necessary as a result of significant drop in trade relationship between Africa and France.

While foreign investments into the African continent went from $15bn in the year 2000 to $118bn in 2014, trade between France and Africa went down from 10.1 percent in 2000 to 5.9percent in 2015.

In other to regain an economic dynamic with the continent, Hollande gathered the industrialists for a private meeting.

Amongst them was Aliko Dangote, the richest man in Africa, Othmane ben jelloun, the director of the Bmce-Bank group of Africa, Stéphane Richard, CEO, Orange Telephony Group and Constant Nemale, founder, Media Group AFRICA 24.

The meeting took place on the edge of the proposed France-Africa summit in January 2017, in Bamako, Mali.

Hollande said the purpose of the meeting was to ensure a new economic partnership between Europe and Africa.

In a chat with newsmen after the meeting, Dangote, President of Dangote Group said: “The meeting was very fruitful.

We emphasised the need for partnerships, do business amongst ourselves and you know to also transfer technology.

There is a need for investments both in Africa and also here in France.

“You know the more you invest the more you remove terrorism and all the other security challenges. Public Private Partnership is very important because it will bring lots of opportunities for Africa and France.

“It is a very vast market; we can sell our products here and they can as well sell theirs in our respective countries and this can lead to a very good transformational activity.”

It would be recalled that Nigeria and France launched a Trade and Investment Council in 2014, with aim to double trade flows between both countries from the then N1.049tn ($6.4bn) to about N2.098tn ($12.7bn) in four years.

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