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French companies seek Zim partnerships

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FRENCH companies are seeking partnerships in some sectors of the economy, a delegation from the European country has said.

TARISAI MANDIZHA
BUSINESS REPORTER

The delegation — on a reciprocal visit after the Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries (CZI) visited France last year —has 10 companies.

Head of the French delegation to Zimbabwe and MEDEF International vice-chairman Africa committee Gerard Wolf said the country has potential to grow.

MEDEF is a business council from France and it represents 800 000 companies.

“The sectors which are interested in having partnerships on the major things which are at stake in this country, this is energy, infrastructure, agro-industry and this is about the future of this country. We know that Zimbabwe has a huge capability, they have major projects going on, we are sure that French companies can help them and will meet with several companies in particular with the help of the CZI and also with other industries,” Wolf said on Tuesday.

Egis International Mozambique country head Alexandra Ourdi said her company was keen to help Zimbabwe grow.

“We would like also to work here in Zimbabwe and help towards the development of the country like what we do with other countries,” Ourdi said.

Egis is an international group offering engineering, project structuring and operation services with 12 000 employees, of whom 7 500 are in engineering, and a turnover of €881 million in 2013. The group is present in over 100 countries and has around 50 offices in France.

French Ambassador to Zimbabwe Laurent Delahousse said the delegation had confidence in the Zimbabwean economy.

“These companies have come to Zimbabwe because they have faith in Zimbabwe and are not only here for climate and for the good faces.

“They are here because they want to look at opportunities for business in the country and they are optimistic as I am that there is hope the situation is going to improve soon and there are good business opportunities for business and job creation, trade, investment and for commerce to improve our economic relations,” Delahousse said at a dinner at his residence.

He, however, said it was a testimony that old partners of Zimbabwe were looking for opportunities as the country has a role to play for the development of Africa.

Speaking at the same event, Industry and Commerce deputy minister Chiratidzo Mabuwa said the coming of the French delegation was sending a correct signal to the European Union to re-engage.

“France had once stopped their bilateral agreements and was now only involved in social services but now them coming back into the economic arena is quite encouraging.

“This is an EU bloc and France coming here is sending the correct signal to the rest of the EU to say let’s re-engage and let economies talk to each other,” she said.

Mabuwa encouraged other investors to take advantage and invest in Zimbabwe while it was still on a take-off rather than to invest later as it would be expensive during that period.

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