Last week, Chinese President, Hu Jintao, visited France for high level meetings. One of the meetings was sponsored by Medef, “The Movement of French Enterprises” which is the largest French employer’s unions. Medef organized a seminar attended by 250 French and Chinese investment companies. Commercial cooperation agreements were signed.
In his speech, Chinese Commerce Minister Chen also drew attention to the delicate issue of intellectual property. Chen tried to reassure French companies: “Our children need to innovate, not copy,” he told bosses came to the meeting. The Chinese Minister of Commerce invited all those who have concerns about doing business in china to come forward. He assured them that all problems will be reviewed within six months and solutions will be proposed.
He took the example of Schneider Electric, whose boss Jean-Pascal Tricoire was present at his side. “Schneider is very active in China,” said Chen Deming, “This French company is treated with all of the privileges of domestic companies.”
After China’s history of copying, is there room for innovation?
The Chinese Minister assured the contractors that innovation is what interests him, copying other companies’ products, patents and software is a thing of the past.
The financial agreements signed on Friday are signals of financial strength. They come at a time when China manufactures high speed trains for international tenders and when the first Chinese airplane is about to be produced. This plane will compete with Airbus and Boeing.
Opportunities for French and Chinese mutually beneficial business relationships will grow with time.