French companies in Qatar and the specter of the Iranian scenario

From Paris, Fadwa Al-Shebany

French companies bound by commercial contracts to Qatar face a similar fate as what they have experienced during the years of the US embargo against Iran because of the continued Gulf boycott of Doha.


The French newspaper Les Echos reported that the continuation of the boycott imposed by Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Egypt on Qatar for more than two months has raised the concern of Emmanuel Macaron’s government as well as other French companies regarding the future of their investments in Qatar and how they will be affected by the boycott procedures.



The report notes that what happens between Qatar and the French companies in this emirate recall the huge losses incurred by French companies investing in Iran after the United States adopted multiple sanctions against Tehran since 2000.


“Total, Peugeot and Renault have been forced to cease their activities in Iran because of US sanctions,” said Alexander Mandil, a business expert. “The US sanctions on Iran have made France's market share in this country fall from 7% to 1%.”



 The US embargo against Iran has costed Peugeot, for example, an equivalent of 450,000 cars a year. "The forced departure of Peugeot has tarnished the reputation French companies in Iran. Now Iranian companies will think twice before signing a contract with any French company.



 Thus, the report indicates that there will be great losses for France and its companies due to the Gulf crisis, worth billions of dollars, same as what happened during the Iranian embargo.

Notably, a large number of French companies have significant business relations with Qatar, such as Veolia, SNCF, Thales, RATP, Vinci, Total, Monopry, Dior, Lacoste and Ansel. 


These companies have multi-billion dollar projects with Doha. For example, Vinci has had a contract worth 1.5 billion euros for the construction of a Doha metro line since late 2013.

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