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  • 2007/06/20
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Parma, 19 June 2007

The fifth Italy- France Business Forum awarded a prize to reflect the foreign direct investments made in 2006 by the French Group, which, having taken control of Cariparma, intends to make Italy its leading market outside France.
During the fifth Italy-France Business Forum, Crédit Agricole received an award as the number one French investor in Italy during 2006. This prize, which was presented by Jean-Marie Metzger, minister-counsellor for economic and commercial affairs, to Jean-Paul Betbèze (Crédit Agricole's head of economic research) and to Giampiero Maioli (Cariparma Crédit Agricole's Chief Executive Officer), is a reward for the commitment shown by Crédit Agricole during 2006 in Italy as the leading direct investor.

During 2006, Crédit Agricole, which intends to make Italy its leading core market outside France, acquired, in chronological order, interests of 50 per cent in Fidis (Fiat Auto Financial Services) and 85 per cent in Cariparma (which in turn acquired 76 per cent of FriulAdria), plus 202 Intesa Sanpaolo branches.

The Italy-France Business Forum is the principal event in Italy devoted to commercial and financial relations between France and Italy. Held at the Palazzo delle Stelline in Milan by the French Embassy in Italy, the French Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Italy and the French Foreign Trade Advisors, it is an ideal opportunity for businesses and economic experts in both countries to meet and discuss their points of view.

On this occasion, the Forum gave more than 50 companies making presentations an opportunity to build new commercial relationships and to enhance their profile among the Italo-French community. Several major groups took part in this year's event, including Cariparma Crédit Agricole, Edison, Fnac, Groupama, Reconta Ernst & Young and Total.

During his presentation, Jean-Paul Betbèze, Crédit Agricole's head of economic research, underlined the importance of the ties existing between France and Italy, with over 500 Italian businesses present in France. More than half of these businesses are SMEs, primarily in the advanced technology sector. This figure is even more significant considering that the presence of these businesses in France, which is spread evenly across the country, has helped to create over 100,000 jobs. _