Wang Yi, China's Foreign Minister, center left and Luigi Di Maio, Italy's deputy prime minister, center right, an MoU on China's Belt and Road Initiative/Alessia Pierdomenico
In a letter published in the Le Figaro newspaper, Chinese President Xi Jinping called for more trade and investment between the two countries
Sunday 24, March 2019
(Bloomberg) –The Chinese President said that he wants France’s cooperation in the framework of the Belt and Road initiative,” as he prepares to begin a three-day trip to France.
He listed nuclear energy, aeronautics, space, and agriculture as industries with potential for deeper ties.
“French investors are welcome to share the opportunities of development in China, i equally hope that Chinese companies can better succeed in France,” added Xi.
On Saturday, Italy became the first Group of Seven (G7) country to sign a “Belt and Road” memorandum, agreeing to cooperate in the Chinese-led initiative to build trade-promoting infrastructure across the planet.
France, on its part, doesn’t plan to sign any such memorandum though it seeks Chinese investment. President Emmanuel Macron Friday said the European Union needed to approach relations with China together and not as individual countries.
Xi arrives in France Sunday from an official visit in Italy. He’ll dine with Macron near Nice in the south of France, before holding more formal bilateral talks in Paris Monday where they are expected to sign a series of investment contracts.
The two leaders will be joined Tuesday morning by German Chancellor Angela Merkel and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker.