France and China on Wednesday signed economic, trade and investment deals worth USD 25 billion (Euros 18 billion) during the state visit here of Chinese President Xi Jinping, French President Francois Hollande said at a press conference.
The deals cover a broad area including the purchase of 70 Airbus planes by China for USD 10 billion and also a big investment by China in France's Peugeot automobile maker. A total of 50 contracts and deals were signed to coincide with the 50th anniversary of Franco-Chinese diplomatic relations.
Speaking to the press, Hollande revealed that "some 50 agreements" had been signed that these are "valued at 18 billion Euros." Hollande stressed that the deals would provide "prospects for the coming years" including jobs.
He made the announcement only hours before hearing that French unemployment had again reached a new record at 3.47 million.
The French leader also said that he had also discussed three major topics with his Chinese counterpart, notably "non-proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)." The two leaders also discussed Africa and ways to cooperate in getting better security on that continent, and they addressed the environment and climate change and the challenges this presents.
The Chinese president told the press that "China and France are powers with world influence" and they discussed working together on "economic governance" and other security questions.
Hollande said that France and China must work together to get a better trade balance and bring down the huge trade deficit France has.
In 2013, France had a trade deficit of close to USD 36 billion with China while French investment in China is four times what that country invests here.