Beijing and France approved an ambitious plan on June 30 to jointly explore third-party markets through models including production capacity cooperation in areas such as nuclear energy and high-speed rail.
In a broader proposal on July 1, Premier Li Keqiang suggested pushing forward production capacity cooperation globally to give a strong boost to the world economic recovery.
Li said in a speech at the headquarters of the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development that quantitative easing is necessary to prevent economic recession.
“But the world has to resort to boosting the real economy, aside from quantitative easing, to realize a robust global recovery. ... I believe global production capacity cooperation is an important channel,” the premier said.
He said China ranks first globally in terms of output of more than 200 categories of industrial products.
“If we can join Chinese production lines, which have relatively low prices, with core technology purchased from or jointly invested with developed nations, that will not only meet demands of developing nations but can cut prices, raise quality and save energy.”
He said China’s production capacity cooperation with developed nations in exploring third-party markets signals “a key change” in cooperation between developing and developed nations.
On June 30 afternoon, Li said after meeting his French counterpart Manuel Valls that cooperation with France to explore third-party markets will help upgrade China’s industries and expand French exports.
According to a joint statement, Beijing and Paris will seek business opportunities in third-party markets “around the globe, with the main focus in Asia and Africa”.
Listed areas for cooperation range from infrastructure and aviation to health and financing.
The statement stipulates that the projects must fit priority development tasks set by the third nations and chosen by the three countries together. The third parties should participate in and benefit from the projects.
China and France will encourage the companies to set up combinations to bid, produce and invest, instead of using the traditional model of subcontracting.
Chen Fengying, director of the World Economy Institute at the China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations, said given apparent advantages to both sides, third-party cooperation between China and France has huge potential.
“For instance, in the area of nuclear energy, if China’s production capacity and reasonable price meet mature and top-level technology and management from France, that will be one of the best choices for developing nations.”
She said the new cooperation model will also attract countries concerned about the presence or monopoly of a major power in the country’s key sectors.
“That will make the third parties feel safe and balanced. We might see great achievements through this model.”
Li is on a four-day official visit to France that started June 29.