Trade is limited (€52 million) and there are few French businesses operating in the CAR, but France remains the biggest single investor in the country and has succeeded, despite the difficult environment, in forming a number of partnerships, mainly in the sectors of business services, manufacturing industry, trade and banking services.
Despite the political instability and security risks, Air France, Bolloré (logistics and river transport), Castel (beverages and sugar), Total (oil and gas storage and distribution) and CFAO (automotive distribution) have continued to operate in the CAR. The arrival of France Télécom on the mobile phone market in 2007 indicates a certain interest on the part of French investors. The looting that followed the capture of Bangui by the rebels on 24 March caused major disruption to the activities of French businesses.
Areva signed an agreement with the government of the CAR on 1 August 2008 to develop the uranium deposits in Bakouma (East), but the mounting difficulties (remote location of the deposits, problems with development of the ore treatment process and with energy supplies, lack of security) coupled with falling world prices for uranium in the wake of the Fukushima disaster led to the decision to suspend the project.
Updated on 27.09.13