France and Congo

Political relations

France and the Congo have strong bilateral relations in a wide range of areas.

Visits

  • September 2016: Visit to Paris by Mr Clément Mouemba, Prime Minister
  • June and October 2016: Visit to Paris by Mr Jean-Claude Gakosso, Minister of Foreign Affairs;
  • July 2015: Visit by Mr Jean-Yves Le Drian, Minister of Defence;
  • July 2015: Visit to Paris by President Sassou Nguesso;
  • February and May 2014: Visits by Mr Jean-Yves Le Drian, Minister of Defence.

Economic relations

The Congo is France’s biggest trade surplus in Central Africa and has the 4th biggest market share of French products in French-speaking Africa. In sub-Saharan Africa, the Congo ranked six among importers of French products in 2016, behind South Africa, Nigeria, Côte d’Ivoire, Senegal and Cameroon. France is the Congo’s second biggest supplier, after China. French foreign direct investment (FDI) in the Congo–€4.6 billion at the end of 2015 versus €2.1 billion at the end of 2014–makes France the country’s leading foreign investor. Nearly 200 companies with a French stake are working in the Republic of the Congo employing approximately 15,000 people. TOTAL has the strongest presence in the country and launched a new off-shore drilling project in the Moho-Nord field in May 2017. France bore the brunt of the debt cancellation agreed for the Congo in the framework of the Paris Club.

Cultural, scientific and technical cooperation

France is the number one donor of bilateral official development assistance in the Congo. The Agence Française de Développement (AFD) is working in the areas of transport, infrastructure, forestry/biodiversity and agriculture. It is funding a number of projects under debt relief and development contracts or C2Ds (€150 million for the ongoing second C2D covering the period 2015-2019). French cooperation also supports the strengthening of the rule of law (mainly justice), to improve people’s living conditions (public health, educational and cultural cooperation), to strengthen State bodies and public services.

Updated: October 2017

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