US$1.7 billon infrastructure scheme for China and France
By Andy Brown22 February 2022
It has been announced that France and China are to jointly build seven infrastructure projects worth approximately US$1.7 billion in Africa, South East Asia and Eastern Europe.
The announcement followed an online meeting between Presidents Emmanuel Macron and Xi Jinping as part of the two countries’ Third-Party Market Cooperation agreement.
China’s National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) said that the projects would be, “in such areas as infrastructure, environmental protection and new energy” but did not say which specific countries they would be in.
The NDRC added that, “French companies excel at advanced manufacturing, environment protection engineering construction while Chinese companies have accumulated rich experience in infrastructure construction, energy, equipment manufacturing and the Internet.”
China has been criticised in the past for the high levels of debt that its infrastructure schemes can leave countries with. The EU, of which France is a key player, recently announced a ‘Global Gateway’ project, seen as a European alternative to China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).