French companies demonstrate products, services

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By Kaleyesus Bekele

As part of the ongoing celebrations marking the 125th anniversary of the Ethio-French diplomatic relations, French aviation and technology firms demonstrated their products and services on Thursday October 13 at a meeting organized by the French Embassy and Ethiopian Airlines at the Ethiopian Skylight Hotel.

Some 16 French aviation and technology companies including Airbus, SAFRAN, and Thales made presentations on their products and services to executives of Ethiopian Airlines. Expliseat, a company engaged in the manufacturing of aircraft seats has expressed interest in establishing an assembly line in Ethiopia.

French Ambassador to Ethiopia and the African Union Remi Marechaux and Ethiopian Airlines Group CEO, Mesfin Tasew, hailed Ethio-French relations as historic.

Ambassador Remi Marechaux said that the diplomatic and economic relationship between the two countries is longstanding. He recalled the French pilot, Andre Maillet, who flown the first aircraft called Patez from Djibouti to Addis Ababa in 1929,Mesfin Tasew told the French business delegation that Ethiopian Airlines has been working with several French aviation companies including Airbus, SAFRA and Thales. Ethiopian Airlines began operating the first French made Aircraft ATR 42 in 1990. Ethiopian which has been operating mainly Boeing aircraft for decades acquired the Airbus A350-900 in June 2016, the first African carrier to own and operate the type. The national airline is currently operating 18 A350-900 jetliners and has six more on order (four of them are A350-1000).

Mesfin said his management is interested in enhancing the exiting business relationship with French firms and explore new business opportunities.

Ethiopia and France are celebrating the 125th anniversary of diplomatic relationship. On March 20, 1897 Leonce Lagarde, French Ambassador, and King Menelik II signed a friendship treaty between the two countries recognizing the independence of Ethiopia. This treaty marked the beginning of a strong friendship embodied in several domains.

The French Embassy in Addis Ababa began celebrating the 125 anniversary last Mach with various activities dedicating each month for different areas of cooperation.                                

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