France plans to develop Islamic finance and attract investment from the Gulf to its economy, State Secretary for Foreign Trade Pierre Lellouche said.
“We’ve had some delay, compared to the British particularly,” Lellouche said in an interview inAbu Dhabi today. “The legal mechanisms are getting in place and French banks are very capable and they are at it.”
The first Islamic bond from France may be sold in early 2011 after the government introduces guidelines for sukuk offerings, Thierry Dissaux, chief executive officer of the French Deposit Guarantee Fund said in an interview Dec. 15.
France is seeking to increase investment in its high-tech industry from Gulf states includingKuwait, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates, and aims to boost exports to the region by coordinating them with small- and medium-sized enterprises, Lellouche said.
“We should better organize the association between the large groups and small and medium enterprises” when seeking contracts, he said. “We are less efficient than the Germans who hunt in groups, and the Italians too; they are more cohesive.”
The total wealth of the Middle East’s more than 400,000 millionaires grew 5.1 percent in 2009 to $1.5 trillion, Cap Gemini SA and Bank of America Corp. Merrill Lynch said in June 2010.
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