France vies to lure Gulf investors

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The head of Paris Europlace said Wednesday that the French capital is well positioned to serve investors from the oil-rich Gulf region seeking opportunities in European markets.

"Paris is well positioned to facilitate the access of GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) investors and issuers to all the opportunities offered by the Euro markets," said Arnaud de Bresson at a forum in Dubai.

He boasted that the Paris marketplace has been "more resilient in the financial crisis than many other financial centres."

Bresson was addressing a forum jointly organised with the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), with which the French party had signed a memorandum of understanding in January 2009.

"The MoU that we signed... aims at serving these ambitions and at reinforcing cooperation between our two marketplaces," Bresson said.

The forum, titled "The Dubai-Paris partnership: Facing a Multi-polar World," is the first to be held under the partnership agreement.

"Enabling open discussions between our jurisdictions is particularly important in the aftermath of the recent global financial crisis," said Nasser Saidi, the head of external relations at DIFC.

Paris Europlace represents the finance and investment community in the French capital, while DIFC is Dubai's free-zone finance and business hub which hosts over 780 companies, including 16 of the world's top 20 banks.

In addition to Dubai, Paris Europlace has memorandum of understanding agreements with financial centres in Almaty, Doha, Moscow, and Shanghai.

© 2010 AFP

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