Graphics: China-France economic and trade cooperation full of opportunities

Sixty years ago, China and France established diplomatic relations, making France the first major Western power to establish diplomatic relations with China. Over the past 60 years, China-France economic and trade cooperation has expanded, with bilateral trade volume and mutual direct investment growing steadily.

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France has become China’s third-largest trading partner in the EU, with total bilateral trade volume of $78.9 billion in 2023. China has also become France’s largest trading partner in Asia. In the first eight months of last year, France’s actual investment in China increased by 105.6 percent year on year.

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France is the European country with the largest investment in China, and it has over 2,000 foreign-invested companies in China with more than 300,000 employees. A total of 140 French exhibitors actively participated in the sixth China International Import Expo.

China has a large market supported by 400 million middle-income people. The consumption upgrade in the Chinese market in recent years has brought new opportunities to the French consumer goods and service industries, according to Soumia Malinbaum, vice-president of CCI Paris Ile-de-France.

Chinese investors are also welcome in France, especially in the sector of electric vehicles, batteries and energy transition. Lu Shaye, the Chinese Ambassador to France, said there is huge potential for China-France cooperation in high-end manufacturing, modern service industries, digital economy and other fields.

China-France relationship is a powerful engine in China-Europe relationship, according to Lu. “A robust China-France relationship can play a pivotal guiding role in the broader China-Europe relationship. China and Europe share extensive common interests,” Lu added.

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