Govt asks FT for more investment

Prime Minister Ahmed Nazif has said that Egypt is keen on developing Egyptian-French economic relations in all fields. His comments were delivered in a meeting with France Telecom (FT) CEO Stephane Richard in Cairo.

Nazif told Richard he is happy that FT is partnering with Orascom Telecom (OT), and asked for more investments in telecommunications and information technology, with a view to creating more jobs.

For his part, Richard said Egypt respects its international agreements, and thanked the Egyptian government for its objectivity in handling a three-year dispute between FT and OT.

Hisham el-Alayly, FT’s vice president for Africa, Asia and the Middle East, said his company will increase investments in MobiNil and in other companies in Africa. “But this doesn’t mean we are competing wit OT in the African market,” he said.

In a related development, Orascom CEO Naguib Sawiris declined to comment on whether his deal with the South African telecom company MTN includes the OT branch in Algeria, which the Algerian government offered to buy.

“I’m glad we came to terms with FT,” Sawiris said. “This will help us concentrate on the problems we have with the Algerian Tax Authority.”

OT is negotiating to sell MTN all or most of its assets, which would make the latter the third-largest mobile phone company in the world.

Translated from the Arabic Edition.

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