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Hi-tech from France to help China save energy
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French enterprises can provide some of the most advanced technologies and know-how to help China save energy, said Juliette Yanitch, the director-general of the French Chamber of Commerce and Industry in China (CCIFC).


"We are very glad that environmental protection was accorded so much importance at the 17th National Congress of the Communist Party of China," she said.


"The guidelines discussed can provide more opportunities to French enterprises with sophisticated know-how to save energy."


For instance, Schneider Electric aims at architecture that can help buildings save 30 percent energy through makeovers, while Solaronics Inc can improve energy efficiency of the heating system with radiating pipes directly warming up air.


Yanitch expressed confidence about French enterprises' ability to win greater market share in the fields of energy cooperation. However, she reminded CCIFC members that the Chinese market is one of fierce competition with local and overseas players.


CCIFC was founded in 1992 under the leadership of French companies engaged in business in China. It has strong ties with the Assembly of the French Chambers of Commerce and Industry and is a member of the Union of the French Chambers of Commerce and Industry Abroad.


With France becoming China's second biggest supplier in Europe, CCIFC has also become the second biggest European trade association in China. Its current membership is registered at more than 1,100.


With a total of 250,000 employees, French companies in China notched up 20 billion euros ($29.43 billion) in sales revenues in 2006, an annual increase of 25 percent.


About half of the French enterprises in China are in the service sector, while 40 percent are in the industry and 10 percent in the food and household supplies sectors.


"China has great economic potential as the fourth largest economy in the world," said Yanitch. "The 2008 Olympic Games, in particular, may bring more opportunities and challenges for all enterprises."


The CCIFC Public Relations Committee has established stable ties with the Chinese Olympic Committee and other French organizations.


"We strive to establish a network of French companies in China that can help in exchange of information," said Yanitch. "Another major job is to provide operational support to French companies seeking business in the Chinese market."


Further, CCIFC offers training courses for the staff of such companies and facilitates member companies' search for personnel in China.


"For many French enterprises, the biggest challenge is how to recruit and retain competent staff," the director-general said.


CCIFC now has six professional human resources (HR) consultants to advise French enterprises.


(China Daily November 26, 2007)


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