Tuesday, March 19

France continues to eye investment opportunities in Sarawak


Frederic Laplanche

KUCHING: France is keen on furthering its investments in Sarawak as it keeps its eyes on updates from the state’s projects, says the Ambassador of France to Malaysia, Frederic Laplanche.

Speaking to The Borneo Post today, Laplanche who was here to pay a courtesy visit to Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg, said he was looking to develop a relationship with the government of Sarawak as well as the business, cultural and education sectors.

“I think for the French companies — who were part of this delegation — it was a very good moment for them to explore opportunities for investments and also for providing French technologies to the benefit of the development of Sarawak,” he said in an interview.

Part of his itinerary in Sarawak included a full economic dialogue between the French delegation and the Sarawak government on Monday.

His delegation included members from the trade commission and representatives from French businesses led by the chairman of the Malaysian France Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and French Trade Advisors.

These companies represent a variety of different sectors such as electricity, energy, oil and gas, medical services and smart agriculture.

“On the economic cooperation area, the French industries are already quite present in some fields,” he divulged.
“For example, in oil and gas and engineering companies – we have companies taking part in the development of these sectors here (in Sarawak).

“You may not know that our companies are present in the field of electricity, specifically hydroelectricity – not only do we have turbines and alternators, generators made in France, equipping some of the dams in Sarawak, and also the latest gas coal generation power plant is in the process of being equipped with French technology.

“These players in the energies sector are still interested in being here and bringing their best technologies – there are new projects coming up which they are looking into very closely. “

Another sector of great interest, Laplanche said, was in public transport.

“We will be following the projects and its developments here very closely. In France, we have very large companies who are at the top end of technologies – we’re talking about buses, metros, and in between those two – tramways.

“In our cities in France, the people love trams – there is a very close relationship between people and the tramway system. We have acquired a lot of experience merging the tramway system into the cities while preserving the heritage and the cityscape.

“Our public service transports will be looking at the potential here to see whether we can bring something into the picture. “