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Sarkozy's visit will open new cooperation avenues: French ambassador

posted on 15/01/2008: 575 views

French Ambassador to UAE, Patrice Paoli said the visit of French President to the UAE today will open new horizons of cooperation between the two friendly countries. "The new avenue for cooperation between the UAE and France this time will be in the field of the nuclear energy for civil purposes", said the French envoy, adding that the visit of Sarkozy to the UAE is a "friendship and partnership visit" and it is also a political visit not linked with commercial, or civil or military contracts.

He added that the cooperation in the nuclear energy for peaceful purposes between the UAE and France constitutes another new addition to the economic and commercial cooperation as the UAE is the major market for the French goods and items in the region, indicating that the trade exchange between the two countries touched 4.5 billion euros.

The French official disclosed that the Iranian and Lebanese files will be discussed by Sarkozy with the UAE officials, adding that they will also discuss the situation in Palestine, Afghanistan and the Gulf region in general.

Paoli stressed that the visit is important and will translate mutual intentions and commitments between the UAE and France in political, economical, cultural and energy fields, indicating that "it is the first visit to be paid by Sarkozy to the UAE and comes in the wake of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan's visit to France in July last year".

The French envoy described the project of constructing Louvre museum-Abu Dhabi as "unprecedented step in French cooperation with any country in the world, while Sorbonne University in Abu Dhabi represents a symbol of relations between the two countries in the education field".

The UAE and France signed on March 6th, 2007, an agreement in presence of General Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, crown prince of Abu Dhabi and deputy supreme commander of the UAE Armed Forces to set up Louvre museum-Abu Dhabi, which will be inaugurated by 2012.

According to the recent report released by the Ministry of Economy, the French investments in the UAE range from oil, banks, investments in offset, Mubadala, including a number of companies such as the Abu Dhabi Ship Building Company, fish farming and industry, palm planting development. The UAE investments in France focus on banking, real estate and hotel sectors.

Recently, the French Business Group in Abu Dhabi and the French Business Council in Dubai were set up by the French and UAE businesspersons.

The French companies operating in the UAE are over 550, which invest in different economic sectors. The French trade brands registered in the UAE are about 5, 000, while the French trade agencies in the UAE are 858. The trade volume between the two countries surged from Dh6.698 billion in 2001 to over Dh10.9 billion in 2006. The UAE imports from France increased from Dh6.497 billion in 2001 to over Dh10.6 billion in 2006. The imports were transport equipment, mechanics, devices, chemical products, food stuff items, rubber and plastics. - Emirates News Agency, WAM


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