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France turns to China for lucrative trade deals
January 10, 2018, 2:19 pm

French President Emmanuel Macron, left, is trying to position France as a major trading partner from Europe for China [PPIO]

With the UK less likely to back out from Brexit, France has decided to cement its trade ties with China.

French President Emmanuel Macron took a heavyweight team of business leaders and trade experts on his three-day trip to Beijing Monday.

Macron has been looking to sign billions of dollars in trade links with China, thereby making France one of the biggest trading partners in Europe.

But like many Western countries, France has a trade deficit with China – to the tune of around $35 billion.

Macron delivered some friendly advice to China during the second day of his trip.

“We have an access to markets which is unbalanced, unsatisfying,” said Macron.

“If we don’t deal with this responsibly, the first, natural, reaction will be to close up on both sides.”

Macron, who is the first foreign head of state to visit China this year, is nonetheless trying to woo China on environmental cooperation now that Beijing stands as the world leader in green efforts since the US pulled out of the Paris Climate Accords.

He also wants China to invest more in France.

Meanwhile, Chinese President Xi Jinping told his French counterpart on Monday that their countries’ bilateral ties stand at a new starting point.

“China stands ready to promote exchanges and enhance mutual trust and cooperation with France in order to inject new impetus into the development of the China-France comprehensive strategic partnership.”

Xi emphasized that the two countries “should give full play to the political leading role of the head of state diplomacy, and promote communication between governments, legislative organs, political parties, and the military of the two countries”.

On Tuesday, Xi and Macron met at Beijing’s Great Hall of the People, and oversaw the signing of bilateral agreements, including the framework deals for Airbus to sell 100 aircraft to China.

Paris-based Areva, a global conglomerate in nuclear power and renewable energy, has also signed an $12 billion MoU for a Chinese nuclear reprocessing plant.

The BRICS Post with inputs from Agencies

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