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3 MAJOR FRENCH TRADE DELEGATIONS VISITING SAUDI ARABIA

Romain Lonchambon - 21-mai-2015 14:11:13
Press Release A high-level French trade delegation comprising of over 33 prominent companies, met with leading Saudi Groups to discuss potential partnerships and business opportunities in fast growing sectors: electricity, telecommunications and poultry. The 3 Delegations of French business men, led by the “Chargé d’Affaires” of the Embassy of France, Mr. Eric Giraud-Telme have been able to meet with all important decision makers during this business trip, organized by BUSINESS FRANCE , the French Trade Commission in Riyadh, in cooperation with SEC, AL FANAR, STC, ZAIN, Ministry of Agriculture, ADF and many other partners. The bilateral trade between France and Saudi Arabia has gone up significantly through the past few years but are still far below the excellent political relations built up between the two governments. Total bilateral trade reached more than 10 billion euro in 2014, Saudi imports from France amounting to 2.9 billion euro while Saudi exports to France accounted for more than 7 billion euro.   Over 70 French companies have been active in the Saudi market with an investment estimated at 15 billion USD.       France was the 2nd biggest exporter of Poultry products to Saudi Arabia in 2013, with more than 150 000 tons sold to the Kingdom’s market. Between 2009 and 2013, our exports of poultry products to Saudi Arabia have increased of 64%, showing the excellent performance of French breeders and exporters and the steady growth of KSA consumption as well. Our market shares have progressed of 3 points during the same years, representing nowadays almost 20% of total imports. The Saudi poultry sector is currently undertaking major expansions, following the objective of the Saudi Government to reach auto-sufficiency. French companies understand very well the new evolutions and came to work closely with local breeders and producers to share their know-how and support them in reaching the new objectives targeted by the Saudi authorities.   Telecommunications equipment exports from France was estimated at 69 Million Euros at the end of 2014, growing 5,3% compared to the previous year (2013), and representing 2,3% instead of 1,9% in 2013, of total French exports towards Saudi Arabia. The increase of the share of French Telecoms equipment exports to KSA shows the strong and steady growth of this sector in this country. Saudi Arabia counts for 50% of the population below 24 years old, more than 14.3 million internet users with 53% Internet penetration rate and estimated 88% smartphone penetration rate in 2015. Saudi telecom operators such as STC, Mobily and ZAIN, are considered as strategic partners for the French services and equipment suppliers.   France was exporting electrical equipment for a value estimated to 493 million USD in 2014, against 433 million USD in 2010, representing an increase of our bilateral trade in this sector, of 14% during the past 4 years. Those numbers are far below the total imports of Saudi Arabia for electrical equipment that have progressed of 72,6% during the same period of time, representing a total of more than 17,7 billion USD at the end of 2013. SEC estimates that electricity consumption should reach 100 GW by 2040. French suppliers want to grab further market shares through the future developments of new power plants and transmission networks in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.   France is actively involved in the Kingdom’s diversification, job creation and training for the direct benefit of Saudi youth and with the support of French groups and SME’s settled locally or willing to work within KSA in the near future. Schneider Electric, leading electrical equipment manufacturer, heading the 3 visiting delegations, together with Bank Saudi Fransi and Naos International Human Resources Cabinet have shown the way to the new companies, during the past 3 days.   With the last official visit of Mr. Francois Hollande, President of France, in Saudi Arabia, on the occasion of the GCC summit organized in Riyadh beginning of May, the bilateral relations between the two countries has reached a new stage, through the existing strategic partnership that will allow significant reinforcement of trade and industrial ventures, and will facilitate major projects to be developed jointly in the forthcoming years. The visit of those 3 important delegations in Saudi Arabia is a another achievement demonstrating the fruitful and trustful relationship existing between France and Saudi Arabia, taking place before the organization of the Saudi-French Business Opportunities Forum to be held in Riyadh on October 12 th and 13 th with the support of the Saudi Ministry of Commerce and Industry.    
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Business France is the national agency supporting the international development of the French economy, responsible for fostering export growth by French businesses, as well as promoting and facilitating international investment in France. It promotes France’s companies, business image and nationwide attractiveness as an investment location, and also runs the VIE international internship program. Founded on January 1, 2015 through a merger between UBIFRANCE and the Invest in France Agency, Business France has 1,500 personnel, both in France and in 70 countries throughout the world, who work with a network of public- and private-sector partners. For further information, please visit: www.businessfrance.fr Saudi Arabia: Business France has two offices in KSA : the Head Office in Riyadh (within the French embassy), and a branch in Jeddah (within the French Consulate). Business France in Saudi Arabia supports between 100 and 150 French companies each year, through individual

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