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French firms to count cost of genocide law

French firms to count cost of genocide law
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The Armenian genocide bill passed by the French parliament could hit French companies doing business, or hoping to do business, with Turkey.

Previous legislation on the issue caused Ankara to block Gaz de France’s participation in the Nabucco gas pipeline.

But Inane Gurbuz, vice-president of the Franco-Turkish Chamber of Commerce in Paris, said existing agreements will limit the effects: “Turkey signed a customs union with Europe, in 1996. So it’s difficult for the Turkish government to prevent trade. This means that small and medium sized French businesses will continue to import and export with Turkey, as in the past. On the other hand, when it comes to bidding for public contracts (in Turkey), this will handicap French companies, which could be sidelined.”

That means French firms stand to lose out in bids for defence contracts and other major projects such as nuclear power stations.

Trade between the two was worth 11.5 billion euros in 2010 with a trade surplus in France’s favour approaching one billion euros.