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Voices are increasing in the Arab and Islamic world to boycott French products, due to the tension caused by the issue of the cartoons offensive to the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him.
Data from ITC Trade, a United Nations project, showed that France’s total exports to the countries of the world last year amounted to 555.1 billion dollars, more than half a trillion dollars.
France’s exports to 7 Arab countries last year amounted to about $ 29 billion, the most prominent of which was to Morocco and Algeria.
The volume of trade exchange between Algeria and France in 2019 reached about 10.209 billion dollars, of which France’s exports to Algeria accounted for 5.513 billion dollars, compared to 4.696 billion dollars of imports.
This means that the trade balance is in favor of Paris by $ 817 million.
As for Morocco, trade exchange reached nearly 11.58 billion dollars last year, of which 5.336 billion dollars were French exports to Morocco.
Trade exchange between France and Tunisia in 2019 reached about $ 9 billion, and French product exports to Tunisia accounted for nearly $ 3.8 billion.
France’s exports to Qatar, the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Egypt amount to about $ 14 billion, the most to Qatar, reaching $ 4.295 billion.
The trade balance between France and Qatar is in favor of Paris by 3.537 billion dollars, as France imports goods worth 758 million dollars only from Qatar, compared to 4.295 billion dollars in exports.
The trade balance is also pouring in favor of Paris in its trade with the UAE by $ 1.929 billion, as France exports more goods to the UAE than it imports from it by $ 1.929 billion (exports of $ 3.647 billion, imports of $ 1.718 billion).
French products exports to Saudi Arabia last year amounted to $ 3.361 billion, and to Egypt, $ 2.575 billion.
It is noteworthy in ITC Trade data that France’s exports to Turkey in 2019 amounted to about $ 6.655 billion, and taking into account Pariss trade with the aforementioned Arab countries, we find that France’s exports to the eight countries (Turkey, Algeria, Morocco, Qatar, Tunisia, the Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Egypt) last year it reached 35 billion dollars.
The most prominent French media also shed light on the campaign to boycott French products, which was launched in many Arab and Islamic countries.
The newspaper “Le Parisien” said that the campaign is expanding in the Arab world “at a time when many are revolting against the French state’s support for the right to blasphemy and ridicule of sacred things.”
The newspaper pointed to the boycott campaigns organized in Qatar, Kuwait and Jordan, as well as the vigil organized by dozens in front of the residence of the French ambassador to Israel.
The BFMTV website said that “tension is increasing between France and some Islamic countries”, coinciding with the boycott campaigns in the Gulf countries, Turkey and Iran.
The RFI website confirmed that the boycott campaign «may harm many French companies», and that the matter is not limited to food items, as 430 travel agencies decided to suspend the purchase of airline tickets to France.
On the other hand, 20 Minutes noted that the boycott campaign “aims to send more symbolic messages than harm the French economy,” which will not be affected much by the campaign.
And the French Foreign Ministry said that recent days have witnessed calls in a number of countries in the Middle East to boycott French products, especially food, in addition to calls to demonstrate against France due to the publication of cartoons about the Prophet Muhammad, upon him be blessings and peace.
And the French Foreign Ministry considered that “these calls for a boycott are baseless and must be stopped immediately, as are all attacks targeting our country that are pushed by the extremist minority.”
- The situation in Egypt
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