Bruno Le Maire, French Minister of Finance, said that Egypt was a strategic partner and that trade relations with it would be developed. “France will dramatically increase its direct exposure to Egypt, becoming the primary counterpart to government-to-government loans,” he said.
It is reported that 800 million euros will be spent on 55 trainsets for line 1 of the Cairo metro. The rolling stock, which will be supplied by French engineer Alstom, will replace 30-year-old cars on line 1.
This agreement will save some 400 jobs in Alstom’s factories in Valenciennes and Le Creusot.
Another billion euros will be spent on nine projects over the next five years. They include a number in the renewable energy and water purification sectors, and a railway line between Aswan in southern Egypt and Wadi Halfa in Sudan.
The French Development Agency (ADF), the French development aid fund, will provide the loans.
This money could be followed by a second tranche of around 2 billion euros, which would be used to build line 6 of the Cairo metro. The Mayor said this will be negotiated over the next six months.
French entrepreneurs such as Vinci and Bouygues have a long history of working on the Egyptian capital’s underground system (see further reading).
Reuters notes that France and Egypt have forged close ties since Abdel Fattah al-Sisi became president in 2014, despite criticism leveled at Egypt by human rights activists and some foreign states.
the Echoes The newspaper comments that relations between the two countries have warmed since Egypt agreed to buy around 30 Rafale fighter jets.
Image: French companies have a long history of work on the Cairo metro (Dreamstime/Robert Paul Van Beets)
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