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Chinese logistics investment sought by France

2008-7-28

COMMENTS made by a French official during a visit to mainland China and Hong Kong to promote investment in his country suggest that port operators on both sides of the border may acquire assets in France, especially in the logistics sector which is to be privatised next year.

A report by Hong Kong media cited French ambassador for international investment and the chief executive of the Invest-in-France Agency, Philippe Favre, as saying that a deal could be signed in the coming months.

"I have met port operators in China and Hong Kong and logistics companies, and they showed interest," said Mr Favre, who visited Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong.

Mr Favre said Greater China was now ranked as the sixth to eighth largest foreign investor in France, surpassing Japan.

"We see more and more Chinese investors now, which was almost impossible four years ago before we opened the Shanghai representative office," he said.

According to the Invest France annual report, China has been steadily raising its global investment, and it's a trend that the study's authors believe would greatly benefit France.

In the past political opposition has been a factor that mainland companies seeking overseas acquisitions have had to overcome, however, Mr Favre maintains there was no political backlash against Chinese acquisitions in France. The country was more concerned about job losses to offshore plants, he said, adding that labour issues would be a key challenge for mainland firms.

Chinese companies are said to have invested a total of EUR174 million (US$277.1 million) and generated 1,459 jobs in France last year.

 
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