Cairo ICT opens Feb. 20 with France as guest of honor

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CAIRO: Egypt’s 15th annual communication and information technology exhibition, Cairo ICT will take place Feb. 20-23 with France as this year’s guest of honor.

“February 2011 will mark 15 years since the launch of the exhibition and conference. Part of our celebration was choosing France as a guest of honor for this special round,” said Ossama Kamal, managing director of Trade Fairs International and organizer of the exhibition and conference.

Kamal added that the fair is the largest and oldest in Africa, which in part garners celebration.

Celebration is also said to be in order due to this year hopefully being one of full recovery from the financial crisis.

The French participation in the event will be organized by the Mission économique-UBIFRANCE, which is an element of the Embassy of France in Egypt.

At the present time, 10 French companies are on board from sectors such as banking software, cartography software, electronic equipment and ICT consultancy.

“We want to broaden the scope of the presence of French companies in international markets. There is already a presence of big companies so now we are targeting [small and medium enterprises] SMEs to expand that sector,” commented Jean Felix-Paganon, France’s ambassador to Egypt.

“Egypt is leading the way in communications and information technologies and not only in the Middle East, but in the world, and we want to grow with it,” he added.

French businesses are no strangers to this region. “France Telecom, through its global wing Orange, established the first mobile phone network in Egypt, and Alcatel played a big role in most sectors of the internet in Egypt,” said Kamal.

He also mentioned that dozens of French companies have contributed to the development of transportation technologies, communications, electronics and information in Egypt.

“Anyone who witnessed the evolution of the telecommunications industry in Egypt and the continent of Africa knows well the significant role played by the French government and French companies in the establishment and development of infrastructure upon which most of the continent depends on,” stated Kamal.

Cairo ICT has chosen a guest of honor for the past three years. Last year’s guest was the United States.

It is with hope that by fostering this relationship between Egypt and France, it will reflect positively and encourage future partnerships between these two countries in the field.

The UBIFRANCE is a French agency for international business development and its mission is to help and assist French SMEs with their effort to export and settle into the international markets.

It consists of 13 bicultural experts, led by Counselor Dominique Mauppin, and covers assorted sectors of the economy and implements the policy and goals of UBIFRANCE in Egypt.

The invitation to be the conference’s guest of honor coincides quite nicely with UBIFRANCE’s goal to put more of an effort to help the smaller French companies create credible partners and identify potential customers as well as increasing their popularity and the popularity of their products among other things.

The 2011 Cairo ICT fair will be held at the Cairo International Conference Center.

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