France, China Sign EUR 18 B Worth Deals
French companies have struck agreements worth EUR 18 B with China during its president's official visit to Paris.
A total of 50 deals were signed according to France's President Francois Hollande, who made the announcement after meeting his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping at the Elysee Palace, France24's website has reported.
The new contracts are expected to create thousands of jobs, including in France's struggling car industry.
Among the signed deals, Chinese state-controlled car-maker Dongfeng and PSA Peugeot Citroen formalized an existing agreement allowing for the Chinese company to buy a 14% stake of the French manufacturer at the price of EUR 800 M, according to Euronews.
The two companies will also extend their joint venture to Southeast Asia's markets.
Bilateral deals also involve a 10-year agreement which enables Airbus to continue assembling A320 aircraft in China's city of Tianjin until 2025.
China will also buy 70 new French planes worth USD 10.2 B. Contracts in the aircraft industry were vital to China, as they constitute some 29% of its exports to China.
Xi and his wife Peng Liyuan will their visit on Friday, when they are due to attend a concert at the Versailles.
Over the past years France has been looking east to boost its economic growth, signing with countries like Qatar, the United Arab Emirates and China investment deals amounting to billions of euros.
Chinese leader Xi Jinping, on the other hand, is set to look for more contracts across Europe as he is on his first official visit to the continent since stepping into office.
He has visited the Netherlands and Belgium and later will be heading to Germany, which is considered its most active European trading partner.
A 200-strong delegation of business representatives is accompanying him as he paves the way for profitable deals with European leaders and entrepreneurs looking for ways to help national economies.