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Business France opens its first representative office in Kuwait – French FM Fabius attends inaugural ceremony

Rabih Soufangi

Rabih Soufangi

KUWAIT: Laurent Fabius, French Minister of Foreign Affairs presided over the opening of the first Business France office in Kuwait on January 27, 2015. This office works to enhance the French presence in the Kuwaiti market, reinforce relations with French companies and strengthen ties with local players in addition to improve the French offer attractiveness. It was hosted in the French Embassy in Mansouriah/ Kuwait City, and chaired by the former economic attachÈ of the Embassy Rabih Soufangi. The main mission of Business France office in Kuwait is to explore and identify the business opportunities in Kuwait and encourage French companies (mainly SMEs) to come and explore the Kuwaiti market in order to exploit all the attractive opportunities in this important market. Business France Kuwait has already worked to forge relations with different parties with the aim of facilitating the French companies’ prospection and helping them identify thus meet relevant local contacts (importers, agents, prescribers, customers). Moreover, the local office, in conjunction with the regional office based in Dubai will, on one hand, develop the French attractiveness by identifying relevant target groups in terms of investments and on the other hand, encourage the French exports by organizing events in Kuwait to mobilize French companies towards priority sectors.

To that end, a French pavilion will be organized in KOGS, set to be the largest gathering of the Oil and Gas industry in Kuwait, from October 11 to 14 2015. Rabih Soufangi stated “Although relations between France and Kuwait are excellent on the political side, the commercial side of this relations needs more efforts to achieve excellence”. Soufangi added: “my main mission is to push the commercial balance forward by encouraging French companies to come here and participate in the attractive Kuwaiti projects with the aim of offering their experience, know-how, products, and services”. In addition, Business France will organize seminars in France and Kuwait to inform French companies on the new projects held in the region and on market demands in many sectors.

Business France Kuwait has been established to encourage the fact that Kuwait is a very enticing and incentive market for the French offer involved in sectors such as: health, cosmetics, food and beverage, power and water, construction and civil engineering, defense. Since Kuwaiti government envisages the establishment of a new airport as well as to carry out projects such as the Clean Fuel project, a metro (for which two French companies were pre-selected), 4 power stations, schools, hospitals, and a specified section of the railway line linking Muscat and Baghdad, Business France will hence encourage French companies to accompany these very ambitious projects. It must be emphasized that the Kuwaiti people are great consumers of French products: cosmetics, perfumes, textiles, jewelry, accessories, food & beverage and all kind of luxury products. With its 4 million people, an oil production reaching 3 million barrels/a day as well as a long practice of trade and internationalization, Kuwait indisputably offers huge opportunities for French companies. Finally, Business France Office will naturally work in regular and close coordination with the Economic Department of the Embassy and the French Business Club in Kuwait (equivalent of the French Chamber of Commerce in Kuwait) in order to ensure the consistency of activities carried out by the French economic diplomacy in Kuwait.

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 privatesector partners.

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This article was published on 04/03/2015