France seeks to boost economic relations with China
China – Communiqué issued by the Ministry of Economy and Finance
Paris, 28 November 2013
Pierre Moscovici visited Beijing on 25 and 26 November 2013. Together with Chinese Vice-Premier Ma Kai, the Minister launched and co-chaired the first meeting of high-level Franco-Chinese dialogue.
The establishment of high-level Franco-Chinese dialogue had been officially endorsed by the Chinese President and the French President during the latter’s state visit to Beijing in April. The aim: to step up cooperation between China and France in the economic and financial sectors.
The first meeting, co-chaired by Pierre Moscovici, was held in Beijing on 26 November 2013. Two delegations bringing together senior officials from each country took part in the meeting.
The launch of Franco-Chinese economic dialogue is a significant step forward for the bilateral relationship between France and China, a few months before the celebration of the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries. It results from a shared desire to establish a key framework for discussion and will make it possible, among other things:
to identify and uphold joint positions on global economic and financial governance;
to discuss the economic prospects for the two countries;
to step up financial cooperation between France and China – particularly in the area of the internationalization of the yuan – and tax cooperation;
to encourage the development of French and Chinese companies, and particularly industrial partnerships.
The dialogue has already led to concrete results benefiting growth and employment in France. In this framework, France and China signed an agreement to eliminate double taxation. It is completely new and will be a fresh foundation on which to develop economic exchanges.
By improving tax conditions and making them more stable for companies trading between the two countries, this agreement will allow French and Chinese companies to invest more. It also contains the latest information exchange standards and anti-abuse clauses.
In the trade sphere, the discussions allowed us to put on the table the need to reach mutual agreements swiftly that benefit French companies, especially in the wine sector.
French investment in China today is four times higher than Chinese investment in France. Conversely, with a trade deficit of €27 billion, Franco-Chinese trade relations ought to be rebalanced. A single aim: job creation in France, with mutual respect for French and Chinese strategic interests./.
China – Reply given by M. Pierre Moscovici, Minister of the Economy and Finance, to a question in the National Assembly (excerpts)
Paris, 27 November 2013
I’ve just spent 48 hours in China, where the high-level dialogue established by the two presidents during President Hollande’s visit to Beijing got under way for the first time. To date, such a mechanism has existed only with the United States and the United Kingdom. So it’s a heightening of the level of our cooperation and dialogue.
I went there with the leaders of the major French institutions and the main representatives of my administration, and I met two vice-premiers there. The theme of the meeting was in fact rebalancing our relations, in terms of both trade and investment. In fact, French investment in China amounts to €15 billion, as compared with just €3.5 billion for Chinese investment in France. I think we made good progress on the issues discussed. (…)
Regarding the internationalization of the yuan, I explained to our Chinese friends the extent to which the Paris financial centre – because it’s technologically advanced, because it’s in the Euro Area and because it’s connected to Africa – could be the leader in the area, and they agree.
Next, we also made progress on issues of global governance, and particularly on China’s desire to organize a G20 summit. Finally, on the rebalancing of investment, we explored all the possibilities, with the idea that Chinese investment in France is and will be welcome, insofar as it’s in our interests in terms of job creation and we maintain our strategic interests and sovereignty.
So we prepared well for President Xi Jinping’s visit, which will take place on the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and France: it will be a great moment./.