• France's news in English
 
app_header_v3

China seeks more balance in France trade

AFP · 27 Apr 2013, 08:46

Published: 27 Apr 2013 08:46 GMT+02:00

Hollande became the first Western leader to meet China's new president Xi Jinping and picked up a deal potentially worth billions for 60 new Airbus aircraft.

France runs a €26 billion ($34 billion) trade deficit with China and Hollande said Beijing "responded perfectly to the requests that we made".

On the second and final day of his visit, his first to China, Hollande met Premier Li Keqiang.

"China is not looking for a trade surplus but wants to import more French goods," Li said, according to a source close to the delegations.

China's rapid development, far from scaring France, presented a "significant opportunity", Hollande said, urging Beijing to ease market access.

France accounts for just 1.3 percent of China's foreign trade compared with around five percent for Germany but Hollande said the food industry and urban development could help diversify cooperation from its traditional aviation and nuclear sectors.

Jean-Pierre Raffarin, a former prime minister travelling with Hollande, said the visit had been very useful and would contribute to narrowing France's trade deficit with China.

On Thursday, the first day of Hollande's visit, the two sides announced a lucrative deal for 60 Airbus planes.

The deal, signed in the presence of Hollande and Xi, was part of the French leader's attempt to press China to help reduce its trade surplus with France.

China's pact with Airbus could be worth at least $7.7 billion at list prices, although customers generally negotiate discounts from plane manufacturers.

The French president later vowed to remove obstacles to Chinese investment in France as he vies to drum up anaemic rates of growth in the eurozone's number-two economy.

Hollande told a press conference Thursday that during his talks with Chinese leaders he also raised the issue of Tibet and human rights, with all topics discussed in a "frank and respectful manner".

He said such discussions were not the only purpose of his trip, and that they wanted to talk about political partnership, the Chinese presence in Europe and economic growth.

On Friday, Hollande highlighted the importance of cooperation between the two countries on a range of issues.

"The world needs China and France to deepen regulations, strengthen certain procedures, govern the planet better and to resolve certain conflicts or stave off threats," Hollande told Li.

"We are, like China, aware that we must fight against global warming."

A French source said that both countries' finance ministers would begin to hold regular dialogue, which would provide a forum for discussing sensitive issues such as the view -- shared by Paris -- that China's yuan is undervalued.

Story continues below…

Hollande had lunch with Xi on Friday with their respective partners, Valerie Trierweiler and Peng Liyuan -- both women credited with bringing glamour to their career-politician other halves.

Both Hollande and Trierweiler described the lunch as "friendly".

Twice-divorced former journalist Trierweiler made waves in France by winning Hollande away from the mother of his four children while Peng, a popular soprano who carries the rank of general, was until recent years far better known than Xi.

Speaking to students in Shanghai, Hollande said stronger ties between the European Union and China were essential to both sides.

Europe is "the world's top economic power... China's top trade partner and the main destination for Asian exports," Hollande said.

"There will be no recovery in Europe without China, without Asia, and there will be no sustainable development in China without Europe," he said.

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
France's top court suspends burqini ban
Photo: bellmon1/Flickr

France's highest administrative court has suspended a town's ban on wearing the full-body burqini swimsuit.

Milk price raised, but French farmers still unhappy
The sign on the tractor reads 'We're dying', as farmers blocked Lactalis dairy headquarters. Photo: AFP

Milk prices have been raised by France's biggest dairy group to placate farmers, but unions say their demands have not been met.

Burqini bans 'dividing France's Muslim women'
Photo: AFP

The burqini bans have divided France, but they have also left Muslim women in France in two groups, argues a professor who has spent years studying the impact of the burqa.

Pizza-delivery drones could be on their way to France
Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it's your pizza. Photo: AFP

No more need to deal with grumpy French waiters...

Heatwave drags on as France faces red-hot weekend
Photo: AFP

France will see searing temperatures on Friday and Saturday, as the heatwave warnings have been extended (once again).

Nice: The French capital of burqini fines
The beach in the Riviera city of Nice. Photo: Valery Hache/AFP

It's one of only two of the 30 towns with a burqini ban in place to have actually given out any fines.

How to make France's famed Île Flottante dessert
Photo: Paul Oatway

France-based food blogger Laura Tobin shares her recipe for this delicious French dessert.

France's top court set to rule on burqini ban
Photo: bellmon1/Flickr

France's highest administrative court will decide this afternoon whether to overturn the burqini ban.

Corsica bushfire leaves 500 hectares scorched
Photos: AFP

A massive fire left 500 hectares of bushland in Corsica ravaged.

View from the rue
What do Parisians think of France's burqini bans?
Photo: AFP

With 64 percent of the French against burqinis at the beach, what do the Parisians think?

Sponsored Article
Five things Americans should know about voting abroad
Education
French schools to ramp up security with 'mock attacks'
Sponsored Article
5 reasons to try dating in Paris with The Inner Circle
Features
Where to go in France to find the best ice cream
National
Majority in France against burqinis on beaches
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
National
How to keep cool during France's heatwave
Sponsored Article
Jordan: where history meets adventure
Society
Parisians invited to swim in the Bassin de la Villette
Society
Five tips for surviving an internship in France
Politics
Déja vu? Familiar faces in France's presidential race
Sponsored Article
Why expats choose international health insurance
National
Meet the man paying off burqini fines in France
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
National
Eight tips on buying wine in a French supermarket
Society
Here's how to enjoy Paris (while avoiding the heat)
Sponsored Article
Life in Jordan: 'Undiscovered treasure'
Society
Ten mistakes to avoid when dating a Frenchman
Sponsored Article
Why expats choose international health insurance
Society
Twelve 'French' things that aren't actually French at all
'World's priciest home' on sale in French Riviera for €1 billion
Sponsored Article
Jordan Pass: your ticket to the experience of a lifetime
Lifestyle
RECIPE: How to make the tastiest ratatouille
Sponsored Article
Why Jordan is the ‘Different’ East
National
Paris sees Europe's biggest plunge in 'liveability'
Sponsored Article
6 reasons expats use TransferWise to send money
National
Life on the home front in rural France's 'war on terror'
Sponsored Article
Life in Jordan: 'Undiscovered treasure'
Features
Weird facts you didn't know about the French language
Society
Paris foodie event cancelled over lack of security
How to tackle six of the trickiest French verbs
National
Summer in France - 'the ideal time to find a job'
National
'Burqini bans will only divide France more'
National
French vineyards revive horse-drawn ploughs
French mayor bans Pokemon Go app from his village
2,761
jobs available