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Li Keqiang Visits Marseille to Promote China-France Exchanges and Cooperation in Economy, Trade, People-to-people and Cultural Engagement and Innovation as well as Between Local Governments

2015/07/03

On the afternoon of July 1 local time, Premier Li Keqiang, accompanied by Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius of France, paid a visit to Marseille.

As the second largest city in France and the largest port city in southern France, Marseille enjoys a unique bond with China. The port in Marseille is where Chief architect of China's reform and opening-up Deng Xiaoping disembarked when he went to France for study under work.

Li Keqiang paid a visit to CMA-CGM Group, a company collaborating with Chinese enterprises in container purchases, maintenance of the vessel, logistics and other businesses in a long time and was briefed on the firm's cooperation with China by the company. Li Keqiang noted that as one of the biggest makers of vessels and containers in the world, China can provide equipment with good cost performance, which can totally meet the needs of overseas shipping companies such as the CMA CGM Group. As China is advancing a new round of high-level opening-up, foreign enterprises will enjoy a more just and efficient market environment when they invest in China. It is hoped that enterprises of both sides could, based on a spirit of mutual benefit and win-win result, continuously enhance the integration of interests, further strengthen innovation and deepen cooperation. Li Keqiang also witnessed the signing of related cooperation agreements between the Chinese side and CMA-CGM Group.

Afterwards, Li Keqiang headed to Arles, a well-known cultural city in France dubbed as the "Little Rome of Gaul", for a visit, and had in-depth discussions with the French side on the preservation and rational utilization of cultural heritage. Mayor of Arles conferred Medal of Honor of the City to the distinguished guest coming from afar. Local residents extended warm welcome to Li Keqiang and his delegation for their visit. When attending a welcome ceremony at the City Hall, Li Keqiang noted that Arles boasts a profound historical and cultural connotation. China is willing to work with France to intensify local exchanges and cooperation, deepen people-to-people and cultural exchanges, expand personnel exchanges, promote China-France traditional friendship for new progress, and consolidate the public opinion foundation of bilateral friendship.

Marseille and areas around it enjoy a reputation for a well-developed creative industry, and active creativity and entrepreneurship. Li Keqiang communicated and interacted with people from various fields such as enterprises, culture, education, sport and media of the French side at the Museum of Mediterranean Archaeolog in Marseille. He said that China is actively advocating mass entrepreneurship and innovation and motivating the vigor and creativity of the whole society. It is hoped that the French entrepreneurs could bring their own advantages into full play to collaborate with China, so as to jointly open up a new chapter in innovation, creativity, creation and entrepreneurship.

People from all circles of France expressed that the visit paid to Marseille by Premier Li Keqiang is of encouraging significance to local exchanges and non-governmental communication between the two countries. Serving as both a historically ancient city and a modern city facing the East and China, Marseille will always open its door to Chinese enterprises and tourists. The city will translate its strong willingness to cooperate with China into a vigorous driving force for cooperation and promote France-China relations and cooperation in all fields for more brilliant results.

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