Two months after Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang visited France and sealed deals of cooperation, French State Secretary of the Foreign Affairs and International Development Minister, Mr. Matthias Fekl, visited Guangzhou from Sep. 7 to 9.
File photo of Mr. Fekl
After the Legend of Honour awarding ceremony at Guangzhou company Biotimes and meeting with Guangdong Deputy Governor Wen Guohui, Mr. Fekl talked with local media about cooperations between French and China in Guangzhou.
Q: Will the biometric recording procedure prolong Chinese’s visa application?
A: The requirement of biometric details was not initiated by France but is a policy of the Schengen Area. Just that Chinese tourists got in touch with this policy later.
France has realized the important of simplifying the visa application procedures one and a half year ago. That was also what specially mentioned by our Foreign Minister. Therefore, we has launch the 48-hour-application and largely reduced the materials for application.
Q: What are the outcomes of your visits this time?
A: First I felt the fast developing impetus of local companies, both Chinese and French ones. Actually today has seen 6 agreements signed with 5 French companies from tourism, hotel, and catering services, which fits to our development direction. One of our goal is that to receive 5 million Chinese tourists in 2020.
Another goal is to bring French art to the world. For it, a company, Plateno Company, I would like to mentioned because they have trust in us and give firm support to French tourism. This afternoon I visited Biostimes, a beautiful plant. This company providing infant and mother products has intrinsically connections with France. They have French suppliers, and built a test center in France. Therefore I awarded the CEO of Biostimes the French Legend of Honour, the highest level of recognition of contribution to French economy.
Q: What are new tourism experiences in France to attract Chinese?
A: First, I would like to thank your compliment, and I hope you can visit France some day. I hope you can send the message to your friends that France welcomes Chinese. Just like what I said, as more and more Chinese people came to visit France, there are many things for them to experience. There are direct flights to Paris from many Chinese cities as well as lines connecting other provinces, very convenient. Apart from shopping, historic relic visits, we also have boat trip, wine trip. People can visit chateaus to see how wines are made. I sincerely invite you to visit France.
At a signing ceremony of China and France cooperation.
Q: What have France done to deal with security problems?
A: Actually this problem has already been the concern of us for this two years. We have taken many measures to protect Chinese tourists. First is enhance the securities and police force in cities. Second is cooperation regarding information, telling tourists what to care. Besides, we have worked with different parties like the police, hotels, and travel agents. So that we can say France is a safe country. And you can see every year more and more Chinese come to France, which is also what we happy to see.
Q: Is there any new cooperation regarding new agriculture, environment-friendly, and green agriculture this time?
A: You asked a good question. We two countries emphasis agriculture as well as food safety and cuisines. France has a agriculture industry that follows the environmentalfriendly mode and respects the environment. Many companions of mine this time work in this field. You know this year Paris will hold the Copenhagen Conference where countries will reach an agreement to cope with climate warming. Environment protection has been a great focus of our diplomatic issues. Agricultural workers also do their job according to environmental rules. As the feedback of our team, these three days, they did have reached new cooperations in the fields you mentioned.