Leading heads of local industry will be meeting with about 100 of France's top business people this week to deepen trade relations between the two countries and boost local industry exports, which declined 6.1 percent in the first five months of the year. Among the 100 businessman arriving as part of the visit by French President Nicolas Sarkozy on Sunday are the head of the Industrialists' Association of France, France Telecom's marketing director, the CEO of Peugeot, head of the CrÃ©dit Agricole Private Equity Bank, the CEO of EDF Energy, the marketing director of Edas France and representatives of Alstom. The business meetings will examine economic ties between the two countries in the fields of telecommunications and software, spare auto components, medical equipment and infrastructure, among others. The French business delegation will meet with leading representatives of the local industry, including Osem, Keter, Alvarion, Teva Pharmaceutical Industries, Nesher, Readymix, Rekah Pharmaceutical Group, and Deutsch Dagan. According to figures published by the Israel Manufacturers' Association, local industry exports to France dropped 6.1% to $490 million in the first five months of the year compared with the same period last year, while imports from France rose 37.1% to $750.4m. during the same period. In 2007 bi-lateral trade between France and Israel amounted to $2.69 billion, an increase of 15.6% compared with the previous year. Ahead of Sarkozy's visit, the Israel Export Institute said on Sunday that exports of goods to France were expected to show an increase of 5% growing to $1.38b. during 2008. In the first quarter of 2008, exports of goods to France rose 3.5% to $352m. compared with the same quarter last year. During the same period, imports from France to Israel grew by 34% to $452m.