French firms to invest in Nigeria

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A consortium of 30 French companies from France has expressed readiness to invest in key sectors of the Nigerian economy.

Mr Philippe Labonne, vice chairman of the Africa Committee of MEDEF International and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Bolloré Ports & Logistics, who is the head of French delegation made this known to journalists at a press conference organised by MEDEF International in Lagos.

Labonne listed a wide range of sectors represented in their business mission, some of which are oil and gas, health, transportation, aerospace industry, banking & financial services, energy, security, agro industry, and engineering.

He said that the decision by the companies to invest in Nigeria was taken following a directive by the French Government for French companies to increase their investments in Nigeria.

“We strongly think that working hand in hand with French companies can be a source of constant and long-lasting improvement of the quality of Nigerian economic growth, by bringing to our local partners what makes us different: local content, training, innovation and knowledge transfer,” he said.

According to him, the Nigerian economic environment is encouraging following the recent stability in the country’s foreign exchange market.

In a bid toward achieving their investment objective, Labonne said that most of the French companies would form strategic partnerships with their Nigerian counterparts.

“We are here to assess the investment environment in Nigeria to enable us take advantage of Nigeria’s investment opportunities.

“We have about 30 companies in this delegation in sectors such as infrastructure, services, agriculture and banking and the purpose of this meeting is to identify key sectors where we can invest.

“We are interested in many areas such as energy, agriculture, services, especially toward youths and we will identify other areas subsequently,’’ Labonne said.

Mr. Jean-Jacques Lestrade, vice chairman of the Supervisory Board of Ponticelli Freres, in his remarks, said the 30 participant business mission, representing large, medium and small-sized companies interested in the many opportunities offered by the Nigerian market.

He, however, said that Nigeria remained a top destination of capital inflows on the African continent.

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