|Follow us on:|
France is China’s fourth-largest trade partner in the EU with bilateral trade increasing from $13.4 billion in 2003 to $51 billion in 2012.
Li said Ayrault’s visit is of special significance as it comes as the two countries are set to celebrate the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations next year.
“I believe your visit will strongly support the development of the China-France relationship,” Li told the French Premier.
Ayrault is accompanied by French Ministers of industry, energy, tourism and agriculture.
Ayrault arrived in Beijing to a red carpet welcome on Thursday for a five-day official visit to China, expected to majorly focus on trade.
“China can contribute to growth recovery… by promoting rebalancing of economic relations, bolster its partnership with France and strengthening (the) economic and financial cooperation,” said Ayrault ahead of talks with Li.
According to an AFP report, Beijing has approved a long-awaited $1.3 billion joint venture in China between French carmaker Renault and China’s Dongfeng, the country’s second-biggest car maker.
In Beijing Ayrault toured the Forbidden City and delivered a speech at a Sino-French economic symposium with hundreds of Chinese and French business leaders in attendance.
French Finance Minister Pierre Moscovici in a recent visit to Beijing, lobbied for Paris to become a leading offshore renminbi trading center in the Eurozone.
French president Francois Hollande in a maiden state visit to China in April had expressed his appreciation for China’s support for Europe’s efforts to resolve the debt crisis.
“China and France both want a multi-polar world. We want there to be a balance. We refuse a world of powers, and of superpowers,” Hollande said in Beijing.