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Thursday, September 21, 2023

France Seeks Improved Access to Chinese Market, Not Decoupling

While the talks have been focused on economic cooperation, the conflict between Russia and Ukraine and China's role in it has also been discussed

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FRANCE/CHINA: French finance minister Bruno Le Maire has expressed France’s desire for better access to the Chinese market and urged Chinese leaders to open up their markets and invest in France’s electric car industry. The discussions come amid tensions over Beijing’s trade surpluses and technology access.

French officials have defended Paris’ restrictions on foreign technology access following an investigation into alleged smuggling of French processor chips by two Chinese individuals. However, they have also emphasized the need for stronger economic ties and collaboration with China on issues like nuclear power, financing for developing nations, and climate change.

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The European Union is working to reduce its trade gap with China, and France is considering increasing exports in sectors such as cosmetics, aerospace, and agriculture. Le Maire’s visit also aims to stimulate foreign investor interest in France’s electric vehicle market.

While the talks have been focused on economic cooperation, the conflict between Russia and Ukraine and China’s role in it has also been discussed. Le Maire emphasized that ending the conflict would be in Beijing’s best interests and contribute to global growth and stability.

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At the same time, France is taking measures to safeguard its critical technologies and ensure that French sovereign technologies are not accessed by foreign countries. French authorities are investigating potential technology transfers to China by a Chinese investor who acquired control of a French chipmaker.

Overall, France seeks to strengthen economic ties with China and improve market access, rather than engaging in decoupling efforts. The discussions aim to foster cooperation and collaboration in various sectors for mutual benefit.

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Also Read: UK Small Businesses Are Taking a Back Seat Due to Cost of Living Squeeze


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