CIIE&China Daily Special:60th Year of China-France Ties(Part 1)

 《小康》 ● 中国小康网   2024-04-08 09:22:18

  To commemorate the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and France, the China International Import Expo (CIIE) and China Daily collaborated to produce a special issue focusing on the economic and trade development between the two nations, with a particular emphasis on France's participation in the CIIE. The international and China editions were published on April 5 and 6, respectively.

  The headline article of this special issue is "Strong economic ties set to tighten." The full text is as follows:

  Strong economic ties set to tighten

  Complementary trade between China and France sets firm foundation for future cooperation.

  Stronger China-France business ties will benefit both countries and contribute to global economic growth, said market watchers and corporate executives, adding that the two nations share huge trade complementarity, intertwined interests and substantial potential for economic cooperation.

  As this year marks the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between China and France, they said their mutually beneficial collaboration will continue to create business opportunities on both sides, despite challenges like declining global demand and increasing trade protectionism in recent years.

  That sentiment is in line with the latest data. The total trade volume between China and France reached 555.11 billion yuan ($76.87 billion) in 2023, growing by 3.1 percent year-on-year. Among this, China's  imports from France amounted to 262.42 billion yuan, surging 10.9 percent on a yearly basis, data from China's General Administration of Customs showed.

  In addition to passenger vehicles and aircraft, water treatment, chemical and pharmaceutical products, France’s exports to China include fashion and agricultural and energy infrastructure products.

  China exports mainly construction machinery, manufacturing equipment, steel, electronics, textiles, garments and household appliances to the European country.

  The majority of their imports are supplementary to each other, so there isn’t direct competition between them, said Gao Lingyun, a researcher at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences’ Institute of World Economics and Politics.

  With China entering a new era of green and innovation-led growth, it will continue to export consumer goods in return for France’s advanced technology products, including electronics, passenger aircraft, vehicles and parts and medical equipment, Gao said.

  Apart from expanding bilateral trade volume, Bai Ming, a researcher at the Beijing-based Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Cooperation, said China's ongoing consumption and industrial upgrading has attracted more French investment to China in many areas in recent years, such as high-end manufacturing, green development and trade in services.

  In contrast to the goods trade, trade in services refers to the sale and delivery of intangible services such as transportation, finance, tourism, technical and professional services, construction, advertising, computing and accounting.

  Jean-Pascal Tricoire, chairman of the French multinational Schneider Electric, said that with the swift progression into the era of the digital economy, a new wave of technological revolution and industrial transformation, fueled by digital technologies, will serve as a potent catalyst for global economic and social advancement.

  In pursuit of high-quality development and the cultivation of new quality productive forces, he said that China's industries are accelerating their digital transformation.

  This shift is crucial for enhancing economic efficiency, driving growth momentum and assisting a swift transition toward green and low-carbon development. Moreover, it opens up additional avenues for international cooperation.

  New quality productive forces represent advanced productivity freed from traditional economic growth models and productivity development paths, featuring high tech, high efficiency and high quality and are in line with the new development philosophy.

  Tricoire said that Schneider Electric will strengthen its “China Hub” strategy this year in all aspects, including talent, innovation, supply chains and ecosystem development.

  Apart from being Schneider Electric’s most crucial supply chain, China has emerged as the French group’s second-largest market globally, boasting 29 factories and distribution centers.

  Thanks to China's massive market, sophisticated industrial system, strong supply chain competitiveness and improving business environment, French companies are increasing their investment in China. Foreign direct investment from France soared 586 percent year-on-year in China in the first two months of this year, statistics from China's Ministry of Commerce showed.

  With the implementation of China's favorable inbound tourism policies and the gradual recovery of the global tourism market, Club Med, a Paris-headquartered travel and tourism operator, has launched a number of promotional programs in cities such as Lijiang, Yunnan province, and Gui­lin, Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region, to attract international guests to visit the country and enjoy its rich cultural heritage, breathtaking natural landscapes, vibrant urban scenes and diverse local lifestyles.

  In the first two months of 2024, Club Med’s business volume in the Chinese market experienced a 74 percent increase compared with the same period of 2023.

  “With robust demand for skiing and summer vacations across all regions, we anticipate a sustained increase in bookings throughout 2024. China is one of Club Med’s most crucial markets,” said Andrew Xu, CEO of Club Med China.

  “Leveraging Club Med’s global channels and resources, and supported by favorable entry and exit policies, we welcome more overseas guests to China,” he added.

  During his meeting with a number of heads of multinational corporations, including Jean Lemierre, chairman of BNP Paribas and senior executives of Sanofi, in Beijing in late March, Chinese Commerce Minister Wang Wentao said that China is committed to fostering high-quality development through high-standard openness and ensuring quality service support for foreign businesses.

  China will consistently establish a top-tier business environment characterized by market orientation, legal governance and international standards, Wang said.