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France aims to boost competitiveness

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17:32 CEST+02:00
French officials said Tuesday they will present an action plan next month to improve the country's export competitiveness and reach the government's goal of eliminating the non-energy trade deficit.

"Only a collective effort, conducted in continuous dialogue with companies and mobilising all public means available, will allow us to achieve the target set by the prime minister of reducing the non-energy trade deficit to zero in five years," Finance Minister Pierre Moscovici and Foreign Trade Minister Nicole Bricq said in a letter published in the Le Monde daily.

"An action plan for our foreign competitiveness, which will be made public at the end of September, will make a contribution," they added.

Last week, Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault set a target of eliminating France's €25-billion ($31-billion) trade deficit, not including energy costs.

The country's overall trade deficit hit a record €70 billion last year.

The letter said that French agencies would be reorganised to help companies boost exports, and called on the EU to insist on reciprocity and balance in trade agreements.

"It is Europe, and only Europe, once united, that has enough weight to get anywhere with other world powers," the ministers said.

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