Chirac encourages SMEs to tap Chinese market
French President Jacques Chirac encouraged more French small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) to explore the Chinese market, which he said has "huge potential," during a meeting with French entrepreneurs in Beijing on Sunday.
There are about 3,500 French SMEs doing business with China compared with over 7,000 German and Italian SMEs, Chirac said, noting that he hopes more French companies can coordinate and tap Chinese market.
The French entrepreneurs said that they hope could enter China with a faster pace.
China has a great market for industries such as automobile and aviation, which has created numerous business opportunities for French giant enterprises as well as SMEs, Chirac said.
Promoting cooperation between Chinese and French SMEs was a key component of Chirac's China tour.
In a meeting with French SMEs before he kicked off the visit, Chirac encouraged them to tap Chinese market and double the number of French companies in China in three years.
During his talks with Chirac, Chinese President Hu Jintao suggested the two countries enhance cooperation in high-tech industry, SMEs, agriculture and environmental protection.
Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao also urged to forge and perfect cooperation between the two countries' SMEs during his meeting with President Chirac.
France will hold several exhibitions in China next year, inviting 1,000 French SMEs to explore Chinese market, an official with the French foreign trade department said.
China has entered a new stage of continuous development and French entrepreneurs should be more confident in coping with those challenges in the Chinese market, Chirac said.