French PM witnesses SZ innovation first-hand


Accompanied by officials and business leaders, including those from digital business, a promising sector between France and China, French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe started his China trip by visiting the new DS7 production line of French carmaker PSA, known for their Peugeot brand, and meeting the French tech community and Chinese startups in Shenzhen on Friday.

“Shenzhen is the Silicon Valley of China and a center of innovation, research and development. It is also a commercial and a manufacturing center like Paris. Choosing Shenzhen as the first stop for the visit to China is to complete cognition toward the process of China’s modernization,” said Philippe in an interview with the Shenzhen Special Zone Daily on Friday.

He added that he felt honored to be their first French prime minister to have visited Shenzhen, the cradle of China’s reform and opening up.

“Shenzhen is the hub for the advanced industry and innovation. The world economy, in the future, will shift toward an innovation-based economy, which is represented by digitalization and informatization,” said Philippe, after visiting the DS7 production line of PSA in Shenzhen.

Philippe saw anti-counterfeit high-tech products developed by five French startups in Shenzhen under the La French Tech Initiative, an initiative created by the French Government in 2013 to promote the development of startups in France and French startups in the world.

At a meeting Friday afternoon with Guangdong Governor Ma Xingrui, Philippe said he hopes for further cooperation with Guangdong in nuclear energy and electronic information. He also encouraged French enterprises to participate in the construction of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area and promote a friendly relationship between France and China.

France takes the lead in nuclear, aviation and space technologies in the world. Ma said Guangdong and France complement each other in industrial sectors and have great cooperation potential.