Large Sino-French deals

(China Daily)
Updated: 2007-12-05 11:35

Large Sino-French deals

China and France last Monday signed nearly $30 billion worth of trade agreements on items ranging from aircraft to nuclear reactors.

President Hu Jintao and his French counterpart Nicolas Sarkozy, who was on a three-day state visit, presided over the signing of more than 20 agreements.

China's Foreign Ministry said the quantity of purchases showed the country is making strong efforts to reduce its trade surplus with France.

In the single biggest agreement worth $17.4 billion, China committed to buying 160 commercial passenger jets from European plane maker Airbus, headquartered in France.

In another major deal, France's State-owned Areva finalized a $11.9 billion contract to sell two nuclear reactors to China Guangdong Nuclear Power Corp in one of the company's largest contracts ever.

Regulations for stability

The nation will continue to strengthen macroeconomic regulations next year to promote sound and rapid economic growth, a meeting of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee said last Tuesday.

The meeting, presided by President Hu Jintao, said although the country has made headway in maintaining stable economic growth, problems exist.

The top priority next year will be to prevent relatively fast economic growth from overheating and stop structural price rises from evolving into entrenched inflation.

Measures will be taken to continue to strictly control excessive growth in fixed-asset investment and keep prices stable, the meeting said.

Panels on trade and renminbi

China and the European Union (EU) last Wednesday agreed to set up two separate high-level dialog mechanisms on trade and finance to address disputes over trade imbalances and the exchange rate reform of the renminbi.

Premier Wen Jiabao, Jose Socrates, prime minister of Portugal- which holds the rotating EU presidency - and Jose Manuel Barroso, European Commission president, agreed to launch dialogs in March next year at the 10th China-EU Summit in Beijing.

The Chinese government will let the market further determine the renminbi exchange rate and allow more flexibility in its trading band, Wen said at a joint news conference with the EU leaders after a 90-minute meeting.

But he emphasized China will act "in a proactive, manageable and gradual manner", with a view to gradually enabling capital account convertibility.

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