China, France vow to further expand bilateral trade, investment cooperation

10:50, April 15, 2011      

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China will continue working with France to expand bilateral trade and investment cooperation while looking to new areas for mutually beneficial cooperation, a senior Chinese legislator said Thursday.

The two countries have seen continuous growth in the bilateral trade and investment sectors, but still have great growth potential given their sizable economic scales and markets, Zhou Tienong, Vice Chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPC), the country's top legislature, said at the 17th China-France Economic Seminar.

Zhou said China hopes to bring more modern technologies from France and welcomes French enterprises to explore the Chinese market.

"France needs a more diversified market as it possesses the most advanced technologies in the nuclear power, aviation, spaceflight and railway industries," he said.

He hopes that France could further open its market, hold onto its anti-protectionist stance in trade and investment and work with China in more areas, especially in high-tech sectors, to promote competitiveness for both countries.

Former French Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin echoed these views, saying that the two countries have huge potential to cooperate in the high-tech, energy saving and emission reduction, and green economy sectors.

"To improve people's livelihoods and boost consumption is our common goal as we now both strive to transform the economic growth pattern and economic structure," he said.

Zhang Wei, vice president of the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade (CCPIT) said new consumption patterns and needs will foster both opportunities and challenges for the two countries.

Experts attending the seminar agreed that both China and France should grasp opportunities and expand cooperation from nuclear power, aviation and railway sectors to the financial, environmental protection, new energy and low-carbon areas.

Statistics from the CCPIT show that trade between China and France rose 30 percent year on year to hit 44.8 billion U.S. dollars in 2010.

Furthermore, bilateral trade from January to February reached 7.32 billion U.S. dollars, with China's imports from France hitting 3.21 billion U.S. dollars, up 45.8 percent from a year earlier.

Also, China became France's 10th largest investment source in 2010 as the country invested nearly 1.5 billion U.S. dollars there. France invested in more than 4,000 projects in China.

Source: Xinhua
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