(China Daily, Paris) French and Chinese officials met in Paris Wednesday to promote strong economic ties, as China looks to Europe for help in shifting its economic focus away from exports and toward consumer spending.

Speaking at the first of what is promised to be an annual seminar, French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde said France would seek to expand the areas of cooperation with China beyond the “strategic” sectors of aerospace and railway infrastructure to encompass pharmaceuticals, agriculture and financial services as well.

(China Daily, Paris) French and Chinese officials met in Paris Wednesday to promote strong economic ties, as China looks to Europe for help in shifting its economic focus away from exports and toward consumer spending.

Speaking at the first of what is promised to be an annual seminar, French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde said France would seek to expand the areas of cooperation with China beyond the “strategic” sectors of aerospace and railway infrastructure to encompass pharmaceuticals, agriculture and financial services as well.

“Napoleon said it first, ‘When China wakes up the world will tremble,’” Lagarde said, “And we are happy to see it.”

Lagarde promised the assembled Chinese executives and officials, including China’s ambassador to France, Kong Quan, that Europe would keep its pledge to set up a mechanism of Europe-wide economic governance.

Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the managing director of the International Monetary Fund, said that China is destined to become the world’s leading economic power, and that there is no reason to question Chinese authorities strategy of proceeding with a very gradual appreciation of China’s currency, the Renminbi.

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