China pledged to deepen all-round Sino-French cooperation and lift bilateral trade relations to new heights, said Chinese Vice-President Zeng Qinghong in Chengdu Saturday.
Zeng made the remark at an Sino-French economic seminar held in Chengdu, capital city of southwest China's Sichuan Province, saying the two countries would cement cooperation in aviation, space flight, telecommunication, transportation, energy, agriculture, environmental protection and small and medium-sized enterprises.
French President Jacques Chirac attended the seminar. Chirac, accompanied by a large business delegation, arrived in Chengdu Friday for a five-day state visit to China.
China and France enjoy economic "mutual complementarity" and large trade potential, said Zeng, adding that French investment in China and cooperation would bring "mutual benefits and win-win results" to businesses of the two countries.
The French president chose Chengdu as the first leg of his China tour to signal his support for China's western development strategy, said Zeng.
The western development strategy, a vital policy in the new century, has provided opportunities for French entrepreneurs to expand their businesses, Zeng added.
Zeng said relations between the two countries have developed rapidly since they forged diplomatic ties 40 years ago, and relations have entered a new stage in recent years with the joint efforts of both sides.
The countries have had political trust deepened, strategic coordination strengthened and cooperation developed, Zeng said.
Addressing more than 300 entrepreneurs at the seminar, Chirac said his visit is aimed at deepening strategic partnership and cultural and technical contacts, and France is ready to cooperate with China to make progress.
China has provided European countries with opportunities for economic development and employment, said Chirac, adding that China could carry out cooperation with France by taking advantage of fields where France excels, such as industry, technology and expertise.
So far more than 1,000 French enterprises have settled down in China, finding a favorable environment, potential markets and partners, said Chirac.
(Xinhua News Agency October 10, 2004)