French president to visit Baku April 25 - Elysee Palace

  21 April 2015    Read: 1253
French president to visit Baku April 25 - Elysee Palace
French President Francois Hollande will visit Baku Apr.25, Elysee Palace, the official residence of French president said Apr.21.

No other details of the visit have been reported.

French Ambassador to Azerbaijan Pascal Monnier earlier told Trend that during Hollande’s visit, the sides will discuss the issues of strengthening the bilateral relations.

He said France plans to bring its companies operating in Turkey to Azerbaijani market.
If those companies can successfully develop business in Turkey, they will be able to do the same thing in Azerbaijan, according to the diplomat.

A seminar will be organized in Azerbaijan in cooperation with the Ministry of Industry and Economy of Azerbaijan, the Chamber of Commerce in Turkey and the French-Azerbaijani Chamber of Commerce, he added.

“The seminar will take place at the end of May,” the ambassador said. “Parties will discuss opportunities of cooperation on the Azerbaijani market.”

“Beyond the large contracts we signed (buses, metro, locomotives, satellites), we want to develop B to B and B to C segments,” he said. “We have to have more medium sized companies in Azerbaijan.”

“Mostly, I believe construction companies can procure a lot of things from French suppliers,” said the diplomat. “We are good in architecture, design, energy efficiency (Schneider Electric is already very active here), interior decoration etc.”

The ambassador said France is present in the field of oil and gas in Azerbaijan both as an investor (Total; GDF-Suez; Air Liquide), as equipment supplier (Schlumberger, Nexans).

“They [GDF-Suez] have signed a long term agreement, according to which they will take almost 25 percent of all production of Shah Deniz gas,” Monnier said.

He said Azerbaijan is buying locomotives and chose the French company, Alstom.

“Azerbaijan also has project of construction of new lines in metro and they have chosen French firms in the field of civil work (Bouygues), rolling stock (Alstom) and telecommunications (Thales),” Monnier added.

The trade turnover between Azerbaijan and France stood at $1.681 billion, of which $157.4 million accounted for imports to Azerbaijan, while $1.52 billion accounted for exports to France as of 2914, according to Azerbaijan’s State Customs Committee.

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