Horizons expand for Chinese companies in France

Updated: 2016-01-29 07:49

By Tuo Yannan(China Daily Europe)

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 Horizons expand for Chinese companies in France

Bank of China's office building in Paris. The bank works with many French companies, such as Renault and Airbus, on renminbi transactions and trades. [Photos Provided to China Daily]

Chinese companies investing in France are entering a new era of opportunity, one that is likely to continue with government officials and industry leaders expressing optimism for surging Chinese investment in France in 2016.

While both countries can build on a remarkable history and culture, it is their modern-day role, with China as the largest developing and emerging market and France as a core member of the European Union that gives rise to optimism about the future.

"In the past half century, the China-France relationship has been strategic, in the forefront of China's relationship with Western countries," says Gao Yuanyuan, counselor of economic and commercial affairs in the Chinese embassy in France. "Chinese-French economic and trade relations are an important part of this strategic partnership and both countries have an important impact on the world economy."

Since the establishment of diplomatic ties in 1964, Gao says, both countries have forged a mutually beneficial relationship in many fields.

But in recent years, the promotion of business ties has seen remarkable progress and Gao notes that China has become France's largest trading partner in Asia, while France is China's fourth-largest trading partner in the European Union.

Indeed, Chinese investment in France has been rising and the combined direct investment was more than $4.4 billion by the end of 2013, up more than 12.6 percent year-on-year, according to the National Bureau of Statistics of China.

France has seen several significant Chinese investment projects in the past two years. Chinese giant Fosun clinched control of Club Mediterranee, the French holiday group, for $1.3 billion, and China General Nuclear Power Group, the country's biggest nuclear power reactor operator, signed a partnership deal with French energy giant EDF to build a nuclear power plant in the United Kingdom.

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