PARIS, April 7 (Xinhua) — As French President Emmanuel Macron is paying his state visit to China, French businesses are eyeing more opportunities from broader cooperation between France and China.
“We have already seen potential opportunities in the market, which makes us even more bullish about China’s economic outlook and prospect,” Fabrice Megarbane, president of L’Oreal North Asia Zone and CEO of L’Oreal China, told Xinhua in a recent interview.
From the first week of February, consumer traffic and purchases have shown positive signs and L’Oreal expects a progressive rebound from the second quarter and consumer enthusiasm to bounce back in all categories, he said.
“We are entering a new era of innovation-driven and high-quality development, which is very in line with China’s economic development roadmap,” Megarbane said.
Calling China “the new investment landmark” for L’Oreal, Megarbane said that they have been “investing in China in the past 25 years, and will invest in China continuously in the future.”
“In the mid-and-long term, China is not only a growth engine for L’Oreal Group but has a strategic position in terms of innovation (digital plus beauty tech), sustainability and talent,” he said.
Francois-Henri Pinault, chairperson and CEO of French multinational Kering Group, told French daily Le Figaro that the dynamism of the Chinese market is picking up.
Beijing’s political will to support domestic consumption is “impressive,” with an “undisguised ambition to bring China to a much higher level of growth than in 2022,” Pinault said.
Bernard Farges, president of France’s National Interprofessional Wine Commission, believed that China’s economic outlook fares well, particular with the optimization of China’s COVID response.
France was the first supplier of wines in China for the second consecutive year in 2022, showed the latest data from the French Directorate General of the Treasury. For some vineyards, China is the biggest market, according to Farges.
“Today, we perceive favorable signals for economic recovery with an increase in Chinese orders,” Farges told Xinhua. “The export potential to this very large country, China, is extremely important.”
Expecting closer technical and economic collaboration between France and China, he underscored the importance of mutual recognition of geographical indications of wines between the European Union and China.
This is an excellent piece of news for the wine and spirits sector, since deeper wine cooperation also represents “a common cultural characteristic” between China and France, the refined table art, he said.
In January, French automotive supplier Plastic Omnium announced the creation with China’s Shenergy Group Company Limited (Shenergy) of a joint venture in Shanghai to produce and sell high-pressure hydrogen storage systems for the commercial vehicle market in China.
“Regarding hydrogen, we started very early in China,” Plastic Omnium CEO Laurent Favre told Xinhua. “China is a country where you have to be present, a country of great production and great innovation. We have always looked for partners to whom we can bring something and who can help us to get to know the country,” he said.
Beijing has been working to have CO2 emissions peak before 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality before 2060. For Favre, China constitutes “a key market for our future development.”
Lyazid Benhami, vice president of the Paris Association of French-Chinese Friendship, told Xinhua that such opportunities for sustainable development and energy transition should be favored, particularly amid worldwide economic recession and uncertainty.
At China’s invitation, France will be a guest of honor country at the 2024 China International Fair for Trade in Services (CIFTIS) and the seventh China International Import Expo (CIIE).
Govt launches ‘Addu Asseyri Tourism Development Plan’
The Tourism Ministry has launched the ‘Addu Asseyri Tourism Development Plan’, an initiative under the administration’s ‘Hafuthaa 14’ roadmap.
The project was launched in a ceremony attended by Tourism Minister Ibrahim Faisal and Addu City Mayor Ali Nizar in a ceremony held at the Addu City Council on Thursday.
According to the Tourism Ministry, the ‘Addu Asseyri Tourism Development Plan’ is in line with the administration’s ambitious first 100-day pledge to formulate and introduce a specialized tourism project for Addu City.
Developed by CDC Consulting, the comprehensive five-year destination development strategy is accompanied by a detailed situational analysis report.
According to the Tourism Ministry, the plan is strategically crafted to not only enhance tourism in the region, but also to make a substantial contribution to the local economy of Addu, reflecting President Dr. Mohamed Muizzu’s commitment to transformative initiatives.
The plan also encompasses key presidential pledges to Addu city, including the establishment of 6,000 tourist beds, the creation of 10,000 jobs, the revitalization of Shangri-La operations, and the establishment of a seaplane hub within the first year of the presidency.
Tourism Ministry says the initiatives will transform Addu City into a thriving tourism hub, offering unparalleled opportunities for growth and prosperity.
The plan also outlines a range of developments, such as the creation of cultural village, wellness zones, marine protected areas, and hospitality school.
According to the Tourism Ministry, the initiatives not only aim to attract visitors, but also to showcase the rich heritage and natural beauty of Addu City, providing a unique and immersive experience for tourists and locals alike.
No difficulty in purchasing onion from India: STO
State Trading Organization (STO), the largest imported of food commodities in the Maldives, on Wednesday, assured that there was no difficulty in purchasing onion from India.
Maldives was absent from the list of countries India has granted special permits to export onion to as the South Asian mega power enforces a ban on the export of onions – in effect until March 31st.
Speaking with Sun regarding the matter, STO’s Spokesperson affirmed that there was no difficulty in purchasing onion from India, adding that the country was selling onion to the Maldives in line with the agreement executed previously.
“We are supplying to the extent required by the Maldivian market. There is no difficulty,” the official said.
India imposed the ban to discourage exports, in an effort to curb surging local prices.
The ban led to the price of onions in the Maldives skyrocketing.
Maldives is heavily reliant on India for the importation of essential food commodities, including onions.
The longstanding relations between Maldives and India have been significantly strained since the new administration took office.
President Dr. Mohamed Muizzu, who is maintaining close relations with China, has initiated efforts to cut down Maldives’ reliance on India. In this regard, the president, in January, revealed the execution of an agreement with Türkiye to import food and medication.
Back then, he said the government would collaboratively work with other nations to ensure Maldives is not reliant on one specific nation for staple foods.
Thai contractor to fund mega airport project in Thinadhoo
The Maldivian government has signed an agreement with Thailand’s Pan Pacific Corp. to develop an international airport after reclaiming land from the lagoon of Thinadhoo City.
The Memorandum of Understanding was signed during a gathering held on Thinadhoo on Tuesday night, as part of President Dr. Mohamed Muizzu’s tour of southern Maldives.
Addressing the gathering after the signing ceremony, Infrastructure Minister Dr. Abdulla Muthalib said the entire project will be financed by the contractor.
The project involves:
- Construction of a runway big enough to accommodate the largest airplanes
- The establishment of a premium aviation school
- The establishment of a fuel farm
- The establishment of a cargo facilities
- Development of a seaplane hub
In addition to building the airport, the contractor will also invest in the development of 12 resorts – which will create 2,000 new tourist beds.
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