President calls on French companies to join in modernizing Ukrainian road infrastructure
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky called on French companies to join in the modernization of Ukrainian road infrastructure within the framework of public-private partnership projects.
As reported by the President’s press service, Zelensky met on June 24 the President of MEDEF Geoffroy Roux de Bézieux, the President of MEDEF International France-Ukraine Business Council, the CEO of Egis Laurent Germain and the Senior Vice-President Alstom Philippe Delleur.
As reported, businessmen are visiting Ukraine, leading the delegation of large French companies.
The meeting participants discussed the possibilities of implementing joint projects.
The President noted that the visit of such a level of French companies was taking place for the first time and was very important for Ukraine.
“I pay considerable attention to the development of favorable conditions for investment and infrastructure projects in Ukraine. Your visit demonstrates interest in commercial projects in Ukraine and opens up new opportunities,” Zelensky said, adding that the French companies are concerned about expanding and establishing cooperation despite the Coronavirus pandemic.
“I am happy that, despite COVID-19, representatives from different countries are meeting and talking about the economy. Its very important. It shows that life goes on, that there is a real interest in developing business relationships, investment projects, “Zelensky said.
In particular, the president drew the attention of investors to the implementation of the national Great Construction program, under which more than 4,000 km of roads were built last year and as many are planned this year. He called on French companies to join in the modernization of Ukrainian road infrastructure within the framework of public-private partnership projects.
Among the large-scale investment projects, Zelensky also mentioned rail transport service, IT, modernization and management of ports, airports, construction of subways and underground tunnels, etc. He stressed the need to locate production in Ukraine.
French entrepreneurs have confirmed their interest in cooperating in these areas. In some of them, cooperation has already started. In particular, a contract was signed with Alstom for the supply of 120 locomotives to Ukrainian Railways with partial location (35%) of production in Ukraine. In total, intergovernmental agreements worth more than 1.3 billion euros were recently signed between Ukraine and France.
The meeting participants paid special attention to the establishment of a Ukrainian national air carrier.
Zelensky suggested that Airbus, which already has a contract for the supply of helicopters, consider participating in the project and examine Ukraine’s involvement in the production of the company.
According to the representatives of Airbus, they are currently examining the feasibility study of the project and considering the possibility of creating a concept and a business plan. The company is also studying the technical capabilities of Ukrainian companies in order to use them as a production site.
According to Geoffroy Roux de Bézieux, MEDEF International has more than 170 members and represents 75% of French companies and is interested in Ukraine. Despite the relatively high level of cooperation, the two countries have the potential to develop trade relations, he said.
“To date, France is the sixth investor in Ukraine. It is not a bad figure but we understand that it is not the best and we can do a lot more ”, declared the president of MEDEF.