France has announced plans to facilitate as much as 3.8 billion euros ($4.6 billion) in financing for Egypt, some of which will fund expansions to Cairo’s metro system by the European nation’s train maker Alstom SA.
French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire on Sunday signed agreements with Egypt to invest $4.6 billon in the most populous Arab country’s public transport and renewable energy sectors.
French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said the so-called road map for economic development includes an 800 million euro loan for the purchase of 55 Alstom metro trains. He expected the contract to support 400 jobs in France and be finalized in six months.
Nine other projects are included in the intergovernmental agreement.
According to the visiting French Minister, Egypt has become “a strategic economic partner of France… It is the top country in terms of loans from the Treasury,”
Le Maire said cooperation has been expanded to cover renewable energy, water purification and public transport as well as funding for universities and social safety nets.
Cairo, with a population of over 20 million renowned for its gridlocked roads, suffers from a dire lack of safe and efficient public transport.
He added that France is also ready to support as much as 2 billion euros of bank loans for contracts with French companies working on Cairo’s metro. Officials also committed to investing 150 million euros to help reform the North African nation’s health system and 12 million euros to restore a French university in Egypt.