France, China consider joint fund for overseas projects


France and China are strongly considering the creation of a fund for joint investment in overseas projects, according to a statement made by French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault during his ongoing visit to China.
“It's a very good example of what we're going to do together, to win contracts in third markets and in all sectors. It's a model that we support everywhere, including in Africa and Asia,” said the French FM.
He added that the new joint fund would be a good message for Chinese investment in France, in Europe and in the world, as well as a positive message for continuing French investment in Europe and in China.
Chinese FM Wang Yi also said that foreign investment is welcome, adding that they are aware that China's investment environment needs to further improve.
“What I want to emphasise here is China will become more and more open, and our investment environment will become better and better, which can be certainly expected and is an inevitable trend,” stated Wang Yi.
In October last year, Chinese and French companies signed an agreement to build Britain's first nuclear power plant at Hinkley Point C.
China General Nuclear Power Corporation holds a one-third stake in the joint venture, while the French company EDF holds the rest.
The issue has also been discussed during Ayrault's meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping, who says both sides should properly implement the nuclear project, and expand cooperation in trade, investment and finance.
He also called for more people-to-people exchanges as well as cooperation at the local level.
China and France also signed a social insurance agreement set to exempt company employees assigned to work in each other’s countries from paying mandatory social insurance fees.
Without the agreement, French citizens working in China would have to participate in five insurance programs.
China has signed similar bilateral social insurance agreements with a number of European countries as well as Canada and South Korea.

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