France has invested more than Dh3 billion into oil, banking and other investments in the UAE to become one of the Gulf country's largest economic partners, a Gulf official said on Thursday.
Trade between the UAE and France exceeded Dh12bn last year, while about 309 French companies operate in Dubai alone, said Abdul Rahim Naqi, secretary-general of Federation of GCC Chambers of Commerce and Industry.
"France's investments in the UAE exceed Dh3bn," he said in a statement sent to Emirates Business.
"They involve French oil companies and banks operating in the country and investments within the UAE offset programme mainly in shipbuilding, fishing, agriculture and other projects… the UAE is also a key investor in France, mainly in banking, real estate and hotels."
Naqi made the statement following a signing of a memorandum of understanding by the French-Arab Chamber with the aim of expanding investment and trade ties between France and the six Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC) states.
Naqi said the GCC, which groups the UAE with Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, Kuwait and Oman, already maintains strong relations with France in economic, political, trade, finance and industrial fields.
He added: "France was the third largest foreign investor in Saudi Arabia in 2005, while it has signed contracts with Qatar worth more than $13bn (Dh47.7bn) covering various fields."