France plans to boost its exports of food and agricultural products to China, while consolidating cooperation in sectors such as nuclear power and aviation, French Minister of Foreign Trade Nicole Bricq said on Monday.

“The focus of my visit is to explore the new trade areas of agriculture and food processing after strengthening cooperation in nuclear power and aviation. We hope to boost trade in dairy and meat products, as well as wine, with China,” Bricq said at a news briefing in Beijing.

Bricq started her two-day visit on Monday, following French Finance Minister Pierre Moscovicis visit earlier this month. The visits are also intended to pave the way for French President Francois Hollande’s visit to China later this year.

On Jan 14, [2013] Bricq and Guillaume Garot, the French minister for agriculture and food, set up the Asian Committee to promote exports of French food products as world demand is expected to expand 25% by 2022 and Chinese imports will grow 10% annually.

“China’s agricultural industry has entered a transformation period. More technology will be introduced to increase output and solve food safety concerns, and France has advanced agricultural technology,” said Chen Xingdong, managing director and chief economist at BNP Paribas (China) Ltd.

In 2012, trade between China and France dropped 2% year-on-year to $51.02 billion, according to the General Administration of Customs. Chinese exports to France declined 10.3% year-on-year to $26.9 billion, while imports from France rose 9.3% year-on-year to $24.12 billion. The French Ministry of Finance said that the country’s trade deficit with China reached 27 billion euros ($4.29 billion) in 2011.

Source: China Daily Jan 2013

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