Economic Watch: French companies explore Chinese market through Hainan expo-Xinhua

Economic Watch: French companies explore Chinese market through Hainan expo

Source: Xinhua

Editor: huaxia

2024-04-17 16:12:45

HAIKOU, April 17 (Xinhua) -- Modeled on the iconic Champs-Élysées and department stores of Ottoman architecture style, the French Pavilion at the ongoing fourth China International Consumer Products Expo, held in south China's Hainan Province, offers visitors an immersive Parisian shopping experience.

A total of 11 prestigious French enterprises are showcasing their products, ranging from fashion to food.

Sylvain Fourrière, the consul general of France in Guangzhou, said French companies had participated in the expo since the maiden event.

This year coincides with the 60th anniversary of diplomatic relations between France and China, and part of the celebrations was the launch of the French pavilion, he said, adding that he hoped even more French brands would participate in future expos.

One of the returning participants, Danone, a food and beverage multinational, was at the expo for its third time. Qin Peng, president of Danone China, highlighted that the strong Sino-French relationship has not only accelerated Danone's introduction of advanced global health foods to China but also solidified its commitment to further penetrate the Chinese market and develop China into a leading global market for Danone.

"In recent years, we have accelerated the pace of 'created in China, made in China', which is consistent with China's strategy of promoting high-quality development," he said.

For many old friends from France like Danone, the expo has not only brought opportunities but also deepened their connection with the Chinese market. Among them, is internationally renowned spirits and wine group Pernod Ricard.

This year is the fourth consecutive year that Pernod Ricard has participated in the expo, which brought over 60 leading products this year.

Jerome Cottin-Bizonne, CEO of Pernod Ricard China, said China was one of the biggest countries in terms of the spirits consumption and one of the oldest spirit cultures in the world.

"We believe there's very good prospects for whisky in China with consumers in China looking for new categories," he said, noting "the ambition is to put China on the whisky world map."

"We've seen strong growth in the past and there's strong growth to come in the future. So, China will be our core market," he continued.

The company has opened four retail duty-free shops in Hainan, an excellent opportunity to present the brand to the numerous tourists visiting the island.

Data shows the bilateral trade between China and France reached 78.9 billion U.S. dollars in 2023, with China's imports from France increasing by 5.5 percent. The trade balance has further improved, and bilateral investment and cooperation in emerging industries have seen a boom.

Hainan expo provides opportunities for French companies to further explore the Chinese consumer market and inject impetus into the mutually beneficial cooperation between the two countries, according to some French exhibitors.

The fourth China International Consumer Products Expo, which started Saturday and lasts till April 18, is China's only national-level exhibition featuring consumer products and also the largest consumer expo in the Asia-Pacific region.

Themed "Share Open Opportunities, Co-create a Better Life," this year's expo is the biggest to date, attracting over 4,000 brands from 71 countries and regions with an indoor exhibition area of 128,000 square meters.