On November 15, 2019, was held in Paris the first conference to promote economic and commercial cooperation between Wuhan and France, in the presence of the Chinese ambassador to France.
A major hub
Wuhan City, capital of Hubei Province, is one of the main hubs of the new Silk Road. Located in central China, Wuhan is well-connected to most Chinese cities. Its location at the junction of the Yangtze and Han rivers makes it an important and convenient river port.
The city of Wuhan is also one of the railway destinations of the new Silk Roads, so trains regularly travel between Wuhan and Lyon, France. As a result, Wuhan and France have strong reports. It is one of the cities in China where French companies, including the PSA group, have invested the most, and remains the gateway for French companies in central China
This meeting brought together some high profile stakeholders of the French Chinese friendship who all insisted on the assets that the city of Wuhan presented to develop relations between China, France and Europe
- The Mayor of Wuhan, Mr. Zhou Xianwang who had made the trip, presented the various policies conducted by his municipality to accelerate the internationalization of Wuhan.
- His intervention was followed by that of Mr. Olivier, vice-president of the PSA group who emphasized Wuhan municipality’s responsiveness to the challenges facing foreign investors in China.
- During this morning session, his Excellency the Ambassador of China in France, Mr. Lu Shaye, in a very inspiring speech, focused on the links that unite France and the city of Wuhan and encouraged French companies to continue their activities in the capital of Hubei.
- After thanking the mayor of Wuhan and the Chinese ambassador, the director of the France China Committee (Comité France Chine), Mrs. Sybille Dubois-Fontaine presented the development of the activities of French companies in Wuhan.
- Her presentation was followed by that of Mr. Boisguillaume, director of the “sustainable city” project who advocated stronger cooperation between France and China in the sector of sustainable urbanization and told the audience that each party could learn from pilot experiences.
- This statement was echoed by Mr. Xiao Jianhua, deputy director of the Sino-French Wuhan Ecological District Management Committee. This initiative, launched in 2014, aims at creating a Chinese-French cluster in Wuhan to host French companies and enhance cooperation in high techs and sustainable development.
- Mr. Jean-François Roche, President of MCE-5, presented his experience with Chinese companies, and called French business leaders to share their innovations with their Chinese partners. Today, China is one of the most innovative power; it is the country that files the most patents; as a result, China defends intellectual property rights.
- Finally, this morning concluded with a presentation prepared by Mr. Xu Peng, president of the Yellow Crane Tower distillery (黄鹤楼酒业), based in Wuhan. This company, whose spirit is one of the most famous in China, seeks to expand its activities abroad and especially in Europe.
Wuhan promotion conference
The initiative led by the Wuhan Municipality is very interesting because it aims to show that China is not limited to the three mega-cities of Beijing-Tianjin, Shanghai and Guangzhou-Shenzhen; multiple opportunities can be seized in the central provinces. The new Silk Roads can serve as a framework to develop these relations between Europe and China. Thanks to rail transport, but also to the development of e-commerce and the facilitation of customs procedures, it is becoming easier to exchange between the cities of central China and Europe
Today, thanks to a very pro-active policy and ambitious measures to support internationalization, the city of Wuhan is likely to become a major hub of the “Belt and Road initiative”. Now it is up to European cities to adopt similar actions to attract Chinese investors!