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Egypt signs 2 billion euros worth of deals with France

Egypt and France signed financing and investment agreements worth 2 billion euros during French President Francois Hollande’s visit to Cairo, the French government announced in a press release Monday.  

The statement revealed that France would provide Egypt with 2 billion euros in loans and 30 million euros in direct funding. It emphasized that French companies were focusing on investments in renewable energy, including wind and solar energy.

The deals include an agreement between the French and Egyptian defense ministries to develop a military satellite communication system for Egypt. French companies Airbus Defence and Space and Thales Alenia Space obtained contracts to build military satellite communication systems.

This is the latest in a series of military deals signed between the two countries, with Egypt obtaining 24 Rafale warplanes and several warships from France over the past year. Hollande was expected to negotiate supplying Egypt with additional warships and Falcon jets over the course of his visit, but the telecommunications deal is the only agreement announced following his visit so far.

There were a total of 20 deals signed by Egypt and France, according to a list compiled by the French embassy. Ten of these were intergovernmental agreements, mostly declarations of intent to cooperate in fields including culture, energy, transportation and military communications. These deals also included one memorandum of understanding that the two governments would cooperate in developing tourism.

An additional five agreements were reached between Egypt and the French Agency for Development, including financing for a wind farm, a power control center and the refurbishment the Ramses-Heliopolis tram, as well as a deal to transport gas to disadvantaged neighborhoods in Cairo and a loan for a water treatment unit in Alexandria.

In addition to the satellite communications agreement, four commercial agreements were also reached, all with companies with pre-existing operations in Egypt.

Safran, a French company that signed a memorandum of understanding with Egypt to help develop biometric identity cards, already had a project to develop these cards in Egypt. Schneider Electric, which signed a memorandum of understanding to develop a solar plant in South Sinai, also seems to be only developing a pre-existing project, as it declared its intent to develop a solar energy project in South Sinai in September 2015.

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