Commerce ministers of China and France in close talks after Macron’s visit, vowing to expand scale of bilateral trade and investment
Published: Apr 22, 2023 10:27 PM
China France File photo: cnsphoto

China France File photo: cnsphoto

Commerce ministers of China and France are in close trade talks following French President Emmanuel Macron's state visit to China, vowing to actively implement the economic and trade consensus made by the two heads of state, and expand the scale of bilateral trade and investment.

On Friday, Chinese Commerce Minister Wang Wentao held talks with French Trade Minister Olivier Becht in Paris, exchanging views on issues such as implementing the economic and trade consensus reached by the leaders of China and France, expanding bilateral trade and investment cooperation and further facilitating business personnel exchanges.

Also on Friday, Wang held talks with French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire, exchanging views on expanding the scale of bilateral trade and investment, promoting green and low-carbon investment cooperation, and creating a fair and just business environment for enterprises from both sides.

The trade talks came on the heels of the state visit by French President Emmanuel Macron to China earlier this month, as China will work with France to deepen cooperation in such fields as agrifood, space, aviation, and civil nuclear energy, foster new cooperation areas including trade in services, green development, and innovation in science and technology, and support the joint development of a carbon neutrality center and joint cultivation of talents, according to the Xinhua News Agency. 

Wang's visit will implement the consensus reached by Chinese and French leaders during Macron's visit to China in early April, further tapping the potential in economic cooperation between the two countries, Zhao Gancheng, a research fellow from the Shanghai Institute for International Studies, told the Global Times on Saturday.

"Cooperation in broader areas such as agriculture, renewable energy and electric vehicles can be expected, in addition to traditional sectors such as aviation," Zhao said.

During Macron's visit, Airbus signed a purchase agreement for 160 commercial aircraft with a Chinese partner, and will open a second assembly line in Tianjin. "The deals show our confidence in China's investment environment, as China's aviation industry is very efficient, reliable and competitive," said Airbus CEO Guillaume Faury in a group interview on April 6. 

L'Oréal China achieved a year-on-year growth of 5.5 percent in sales in 2022, according to the latest fiscal report on Friday. The company said it secured double-digit growth for its e-commerce business, and became the No.1 beauty group on Tmall and

The vivid display of the diversity of bilateral trade was also witnessed at the just concluded third China International Consumer Products Expo (CICPE) held in Haikou, South China's Hainan Province.

The fair saw 336 French brands showcasing their products, and France has become the leading foreign country participating in CICPE in terms of exhibition scale for a third consecutive year.

The benign exchange will also play a positive and exemplary role in China-EU relations, which are now at a crossroads amid some EU politicians' "decoupling" calls and instigation by the US, Chinese experts said. 

"China-EU economic relations have been on a bumpy ride after the grounding of the China-EU Investment Agreement. Against this backdrop, pragmatic cooperation between China and France, the second-largest economy within the EU bloc, is set to not only deepen the relations between the two countries but also drive the healthy development of China-EU economic ties," Zhao said. 

Wang also promoted the 6th China International Import Expo (CIIE) which is expected to be unveiled in November. 

China's opening-up will not change, and the door will only open wider, he said, adding that China is advancing Chinese-style modernization in an all-round way, which will provide companies from all over the world with a broader market space and more opportunities for cooperation. 

Data from the China's Ministry of Commerce showed that the actual use of foreign investment was 408.45 billion yuan ($59.2 billion) in the first quarter of this year, a year-on-year increase of 4.9 percent, of which investment from France increased by 635.5 percent year-on-year, the second biggest increase after the UK. 

At China's invitation, France will be a guest of honor country at the 2024 China International Fair for Trade in Services and the seventh CIIE to be held in 2024.