Skip to main content

Asia-Europe dialogue

Publié le November 9, 2012
Excerpts from the press conference given by M. François

Hollande, President of the Republic, at the French Residence
Veintiane, November 5, 2012

(…)

THE PRESIDENT – We were able to agree that we have three commitments to make to each other.

ASIA/EUROPE/ECONOMIC POLICY COORDINATION/CURRENCY REVALUATION/INTERNATIONAL TRADE

The first commitment is better coordination of economic policies. It’s a position I upheld. Countries with a balance of payments surplus, a trade surplus, and no public debt problems must support their activities and growth in order to enable countries with deficits – trade, balance of payments and sometimes public accounts deficits – to try to be competitive and recover without any damaging consequences on activity. There needs to be coordination of economic policies. Priority must be given to growth.

The second direction we took was to ensure the currencies better reflect the state of each economy. Those countries which achieve large surpluses must therefore accept the revaluation of their currencies. Several months ago, China agreed to do this, and she must continue to carry it out so there can be a rebalancing by the foreign exchange markets.

The third direction is about opening up the markets, international trade. The European economy is an open economy. Many countries in Asia have also allowed trade to develop and accepted the principle of reciprocity. But there must be even more movement in this direction.

EURO AREA CRISIS

During this forum I wanted to express my confidence in the Euro Area, because too many doubts have arisen, over many months, among our Asian partners, who, I remind you, help finance a number of sovereign debts in Europe through the movement of capital. I wanted to say at this forum that the Euro Area crisis is finally about to be resolved. We still have some way to go, but we’ve covered the main part, namely fiscal union, banking union, the European Stability Mechanism and the focus of the Central Bank. All this encourages confidence in the European economy. Let me also remind you that the European economy is the world’s top trading power. There too, we Europeans have to promote what we are and what we can contribute to the global economy as a whole.

GLOBAL GOVERNANCE

To finish, there needs to be – and this forum has contributed to it – global governance: governance on financial regulation, governance on the international monetary system and governance, too, on policies of growth, of coordinating economic policies, without forgetting the commitments we must have on the climate and the environment.

Concurrently with this forum, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and I had several absolutely invaluable bilateral meetings: firstly, with the host country, Laos, then with the Chinese Premier, the Prime Minister of Malaysia, the Prime Minister of Australia, the President of Indonesia, the President of Mongolia, the Sultan of Brunei and the Prime Minister of Vietnam. We were able to reiterate our positions, discuss our bilateral relations and arrange a number of engagements, particularly with the Chinese Prime Minister, who renewed the Chinese authorities’ invitation to me to visit China in the course of 2013. (…)

FRANCE/CHINA/TRADE DEFICIT

Q. – Did you discuss directly with the Chinese minister the issues of France’s trade deficit and reciprocity?

THE PRESIDENT – Yes, we noted both the closeness of our cooperation in a good number of areas – aviation, civilian nuclear energy, infrastructure – but also the imbalance. France’s trade deficit with China stands at €27 billion, i.e. 40% of our trade deficit. So we have to restore the balance. The Chinese Premier is himself aware of it. It’s about rebalancing not administratively but through more openness by the Chinese markets and also a better presence by our companies. When I make the trip to China next year, we’ll have the opportunity to realize this desire for rebalancing. I’ll be going with a delegation of the largest companies involved in the Chinese market. (…)./.