The French government expects its $6.7 billion (Dh24.6 billion) bilateral trade with the UAE to grow at between 10-15 per cent this year, a senior official said.
“Last year French exports to the UAE  reached $4.7 billion while its imports from the UAE reached $2 billion and we expect the overall bilateral trade of $6.7 billion to grow between 10-15 per cent this year,” Francois Sporrer, French Trade Commissioner to the UAE and Qatar, told Gulf News.
The UAE is France’s third biggest ‘trade surplus ’ partner, generating more than $2.7 billion in trade surplus, he said.
“About 30 per cent of our exports to the UAE are capital goods, 25 per cent intermediary and equipment, 25 per cent consumer goods, 10 per cent food and beverage while 5 per cent are automotive,” he said.
UAE’s airlines, Emirates, Etihad and Air Arabia, are major customers of Airbus customers, whose aircraft are assembled in Toulouse, France . “However, the receipts from the export of the Superjumbo A380 that is delivered from Germany goes into German account,” Sporrer said. “We deliver other models, such as the A320s to the UAE and other countries.”
Meanwhile, a commercial delegation from the French city of Lyon has held several meetings with UAE’s sovereign wealth funds Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA) and Mubadala to secure investment in Lyon. Dubai’s Emirates airline has recently launched direct flights to Lyon, which is helping the city to attract a large number of tourists from the UAE and beyond.
“We have held talks with both Mubadala and ADIA and invited them to invest in our region, which has one of the largest number of technology companies in France,” Gerard Collomb, Senator-Mayor of Lyon and President of Greater Lyon, told Gulf News.
“The talks were positive and both ADIA and Mubadala seems to be interested in investing in Lyon, after a few follow-up visits.”
He said, Emirates’ direct flights to Lyon has had a positive impact on the tourism industry of Lyon.