French connections: Business France at The Big 5

Business France, the agency responsible for the internationalisation of the French economy, will once again host a national pavilion at The Big 5 2016, with more than 40 companies from various construction-related disciplines

More than 40 French construction firms will exhibit at The Big 5 2016.
More than 40 French construction firms will exhibit at The Big 5 2016.

Business France, the national agency responsible for promoting the internationalisation of the French economy, is once again running a French pavilion at the Big 5 2016.

More than 40 companies from various industry sectors will be showcasing their products, services, and expertise to Middle East construction professionals, with aim of forming or strengthening partnerships.

This year’s French offering will be highly diversified, according to Business France. Trades covered will include structural work to finishings, with representation from the country’s carpentry, roofing, insulation, bathroom facilities, cooling and heating, and smoke detector sectors; and finishing touches, such as wall and floor coverings, luxury faucets, and home automation. Furthermore, the French pavilion will host companies of all sizes.

Although it is difficult to quantify the construction and finishings sector in France, FFB/FNTP 2015 estimated that business conducted in foreign markets is worth $8.37bn (EUR7.8bn). According to the French pavilion’s organisers, France tends to export products that are high-tech, high-quality, and of sophisticated design. Examples given include innovative insulating materials, façades that let in light, false ceilings, terracotta tiles, natural paints, and decorative fireplaces.

With a highly fragmented network of 382,000 businesses, and revenue of $133bn (EUR124bn), France’s ability to play a major role in global trade is significant. Business France also notes that the country boasts at least one global leader in most construction-related segments. Household names include Vinci, Bouygues, Saint-Gobain, Lafarge, and Eiffage.

At the end of 2015, the Government of Dubai announced that it wanted to invest $1.8bn (AED6.6bn) in infrastructure projects – an increase of more than 20% compared to its 2015 budget. This level of investment is expected to be maintained for the next five years, with major projects including the Expo 2020 site, extensions to Dubai Tram and Dubai Metro lines, the development of Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum City (MBR City), and projects around the recently-completed Dubai Water Canal.

French firms must take advantage of this favorable environment by building relationships with local businesses influencers at events like The Big 5 2016, Business France added.

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