More potential for Sino-French business ties: China Daily

More potential for Sino-French business ties: China Daily

BEIJING, China, Apr 10 — Strengthened economic and trade relations between China and France will not only benefit both countries, but also contribute to the sustainable growth of global supply chains, said government officials and business leaders.

As this year marks the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between Beijing and Paris, they said the two sides share huge trade complementarity, intertwined interests and substantial potential for economic cooperation.

During his meetings with a number of French government officials, senior executives of French firms and industry associations in Paris from Sunday to Monday, Chinese Commerce Minister Wang Wentao stressed that prospects for Sino-French economic and trade cooperation are wide-ranging. The Chinese government is dedicated to optimizing the business environment and providing service guarantees for foreign companies to invest and operate in its market, said Wang’s ministry on Tuesday.

“As the Chinese economy continues to show signs of improvement and recovery, there is a focus on accelerating the emergence of new economic growth drivers and persistently exploring new development areas,” said Wang, adding that this presents multinational companies with expanded market opportunities.

With China launching anti-dumping investigations into brandy imported from the European Union in early January, Wang told French business leaders that the country will conduct the investigations transparently and openly in accordance with its laws and World Trade Organization rules, fully ensuring the rights of all stakeholders.

The investigations were initiated at the request of the domestic industry and are not targeted at any specific EU country. The queries will not presuppose any conclusions, he added.

At these meetings, business leaders from French companies, including BNP Paribas and Danone SA, said they remain optimistic about the prospects of China’s economic growth and business environment. They will continue to commit to long-term development in China.

Thanks to China’s massive market, sophisticated industrial system, strong supply chain competitiveness and the improving business environment, foreign direct investment from France soared 586 percent year-on-year in China in the first two months of this year, Wang’s ministry said.

After achieving a 6 percent year-on-year growth in the Chinese market in its 2023 fiscal year, Pernod Ricard, a French wine and spirits group, said it will focus on premium and diversified products in the years ahead.

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“China stands as Pernod Ricard’s second-largest market, where we have established a presence for over 30 years. We will respond promptly to ever-evolving market and consumer demands in the country,” said Jerome Cottin-Bizonne, CEO of Pernod Ricard China.

Sharing similar views, Barbara Coppola, CEO of French sporting goods retailer Decathlon, said China is one of the group’s key markets and the company will continue investing in the country.

“China stands out as one of the key global markets possessing comprehensive capabilities, including industrial, logistical, product design and retail strengths,” she said, adding that Decathlon benefits from a fully integrated supply chain within China.

France is identified as another country with similar capabilities. China’s importance to Decathlon is both significant and multifaceted, she said.

With China entering a new era of green and innovation-led growth, it will continue to export industrial and consumer goods in return for France’s high-tech products, including passenger aircraft, medical equipment and green products, said Gao Lingyun, a researcher at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences’ Institute of World Economics and Politics.

The total trade value between China and France reached 555.11 billion yuan ($76.74 billion) in 2023, up 3.1 percent year-on-year. Among the total, China’s imports from France stood at 262.42 billion yuan, surging 10.9 percent on a yearly basis, said China’s General Administration of Customs.

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