France's trade deficit widens in 2010
Updated: 2011-02-09 14:48
PARIS -- France, the eurozone's second largest economy, saw a widened trade deficit in 2010 at 51.4 billion euros (70.2 billion US dollars), French State Secretary for Trade Pierre Lellouche said on Tuesday, calling for structural reforms and better aid to small and medium-sized enterprises.
Compared to the level of 2009, the figure increased by 7.2 billion euros (9.8 billion dollars). In addition, the 2010 trade deficit was more than what the government had previously expected - - 49.3 billion euros (67.3 billion dollars).
Commenting on the figure, the state secretary said France's export registered a favorable growth of 13.5 percent to 392.5 billion euros (535.9 billion dollars), but the positive results mainly booked by larger groups didn't offset the dismal performance of small and medium-sized enterprises in terms of export.
France's export traditionally depends on markets of Europe and some emerging countries, and was primarily driven by the food, pharmaceutical and aerospace industries.
Take Airbus for example, the France-based European plane maker billed a record result in 2010, with its sales income up to 18.9 billion euros (25.8 billion dollars).
Comparing with Germany, which leads eurozone members with a trade surplus of 126 billion euros (172 billion dollars), French industrial sectors bear "a structural problem" and also suffer from the impact of the euro crisis and rising oil bills, Lellouche said.
The French government has estimated that trade deficit will reach 47.6 billion euros (65 billion dollars) in 2011.
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