The volume of trade exchange between Egypt and France hit $1.4 billion during the first eight months of 2018, with $460 million in exports and $999 million imports, trade and industry minister Amr Nassar said on Saturday.

The information came to light during a meeting that Nassar held with French ambassador Stéphane Roumtier to discuss future economic relations between both countries and current French investments in Egypt.

French investments in Egypt are estimated at 4.5 billion euros, which include agricultural industries, information technology, construction, new and renewable energy, transportation, banks, aviation, water desalination, infrastructure and tourism.

The meeting also touched on preparations for the expected visit of French President Emmanuel Macron to Egypt at the beginning of 2019, along with the government’s desire to lure further French investments to Egypt.

The French ambassador said that the positive economic reforms that Egypt has implemented over the past two years contributed restored Egypt’s role as one of the major markets in the Middle East and Africa.

A delegation o French pharmaceutical companies will visit Egypt in the coming months to assess the available investment opportunities in the market.