The French foreign trade minister, Mrs Nicole Bricq, is due on Thursday in Ethiopia for a two-day visit aimed at strengthening the economic ties between the two countries, official sources told PANA on Wednesday.
The minister said that the visit was under the framework of the extension of the Elysee summit on “Peace and Security in Africa” held on 6 and 7 December in Paris. This is to strengthen the economic ties with a country that has recorded an average growth rate of 8% over the past few years and whose 2010-2015 five-year plan sets huge investments in terms of infrastructure.
The minister, who will be accompanied by officials of 30 companies, including 9 small and medium size firms and intermediary size businesses, will hold talks with the Ethiopian Prime minister, Haile Mariam Desalegn, the deputy-Prime minister, Debretsion Gebremichael, also minister of Communication and Information technology, and the minister of Finance and Economic Development, Sufian Ahmed.
Bricq will also visit the Hilina enriched food processing center Plc, a partner of the French company Nutriset, that has specialized in the production of food to fight malnutrition.
She will visit the wind power site of Ashegoda, Africa’s biggest wind power station, fully equipped by a French company.
French economic presence in Ethiopia is through direct foreign investments by French companies estimated at over 100 million euro in two sectors – the distribution of oil products (Total group) and viticulture (Castel group).
France is among the main European investors in Ethiopia after the United Kingdom, Italy and the Netherlands.