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07 May 2024, 09:15

French firms urged to seize opportunities from China's development


BEIJING, 7 May (BelTA - China Daily) - President Xi Jinping said on Monday that entrepreneurs in France are welcome to participate in China's modernization efforts, and to seize opportunities arising from China's development as the country mulls significant moves to further deepen reform across various sectors.

Xi made the remarks while attending the closing ceremony of the sixth meeting of the China-France Business Council together with French President Emmanuel Macron at the Theatre Marigny in Paris.

Xi told delegates to the meeting that China is working to steadily expand institutional opening-up, ease market access and shorten the negative list for foreign investment. This will help provide a broader market and more win-win cooperation opportunities for countries including France, he said.

Since China and France established diplomatic ties 60 years ago, the two countries have developed a closely-intertwined relationship between their economies, with bilateral trade increasing 800-fold to reach $78.9 billion last year.

Based on past and present experiences, Xi emphasized that there are no justifiable reasons for failures in maximizing the potential of the China-France relationship, and vowed to further enhance its productivity.

The Chinese president announced that China welcomes more imports of quality agricultural products from France, and will extend visa exemption entry for citizens from France and another 11 countries on short-term visits to China until the end of 2025.

"Deeper friendship calls for frequent exchanges and closer cooperation. We always view France as a priority and trustworthy partner of cooperation," he said.

Noting that China and Europe are two major markets promoting globalization, Xi said China will work with France to deepen mutually beneficial cooperation between the two sides.

He called on the two sides to continue to enhance political mutual trust, remove various distractions, and jointly oppose attempts to turn business relations into political, ideological or security issues.

"We should turn China and Europe into each other's key partners for business cooperation, priority partners for cooperation in science and technology, and trustworthy partners for cooperation in industrial and supply chains," he said, adding that China will open its market wider to create more opportunities for companies from France, Europe and beyond.

Danone's CEO Antoine de Saint-Affrique, who attended the meeting on Monday, said that as China advances its high-quality development agenda and nurtures new quality productive forces in recent years, French enterprises like Danone have found fertile ground for growth. Around 200 government officials and entrepreneurs from both countries participated in the meeting.

"The high-level exchanges have painted a promising blueprint for the future development of China-France relations, which is truly inspiring," he said, adding that he expects the two countries' partnership to generate new opportunities in the future.
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