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Sun 19 Oct 2008 06:24 AM

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French delegation arrives to hold trade talks

Foreign trade minister Anne-Marie Idrac to visit Saudi, UAE, Qatar and Oman during visit.

A top-level delegation from France arrived in the Gulf on Sunday to hold talks to improve trade between the European country and the region.The delegation, led by Anne-Marie Idrac, Minister of State in charge of foreign trade, starts a four day visit on Sunday, starting in Saudi Arabia followed by Qatar, the UAE and Oman.

She will be accompanied by a delegation of French companies who see the area as one for potential investment and expansion.

Idrac will hold talks with leaders of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) with a view to building on trade links between Europe and the Gulf.

The delegation will also be meeting with high ranking managers of big infrastructure projects such as the president of the Transport Department of Abu Dhabi, the president of the Roads and Transport Authority of Dubai, the Saudi Minister of transportation, as well as leading businessmen in the kingdom and the UAE.

Discussions are expected to take place on projects including a UAE electronuclear project, high speed Saudi railways, plans for an inter Emirates railway, and the Dubai Metro.

Idrac will also be accompanied by Philippe Favre, Ambassador at large for international investments and president of Invest in France Agency, and the talks are also expected to promote France as a country for Gulf-based investments.

During her visit to the UAE, the Minister will also meet with French small and medium size companies specialising in information technology at the GITEX exhibition.

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