May 2009ó A delegation of French officials arrived on a private jet in
the Somaliland port city of Berbera on Wednesday for talks with
President Dahir Rayale and other senior officials who had already
traveled from the capital [Hargeysa].
Sources close to the Somaliland government have told Somalilandpress
that the delegation were representatives of Bollore Africa Logistics - a
French company interested in investing in Somalilandís port of Berbera -
however when Somalilandpress contacted their Ethiopian office they
refused to comment. Bollore is the first logistics network integrated in
Africa and has over 200 agencies throughout Africa.
The French firm plans to establish network agents and provide complete
logistics management to the port of Berbera to meet modern demands for
Somaliland, Ethiopia and possibly South Sudan (to gain independence by
The three-men delegation met with Berbera Port Authority, Berbera City
Councils and the President of Somaliland who warmly welcomed them to the
hot red-sea port. The two sides discussed ways to modernize the port of
Berbera and boost its capacity so it can meet demands from Ethiopia,
Somaliland and neighboring states.
Somaliland Foreign Minister, the Deputy Minister of Planing, and
Personal Secretary of the President were among the delegates that met
with the French business executives.
More French companies are expected to arrive in Somaliland for potential
investments. In February, The Banque pour le Commerce et líIndustrie -
Mer Rouge (BCI-MR), the partly-owned subsidiary of French bank BNP
Paribas became the first foreign bank to open itís doors to
Somalilanders. Their official 8-storey high building is currently under
Somaliland is developing close ties with France partly because of
Nicolas Sarkozyís Napoleonic ambitions for France.