Port city seeks to increase its appeal
Marseille, France’s secondlargest city, plans to double its number of Chinese visitors within two years, according to DeputyMayor Didier Parakian.
“Currently,Marseille, France’s Marseille secondlargest receives city, about plans 60,000to doubleChinese its number visitors of every Chinese year, visitorsand we hope within the two number years, will accordingtodouble, reaching Deputy 120,000Mayor Didierin the coming Parakian. two years,” Parakian told“Currently,China Daily. Marseille receives France aboutis the 60,000prime European Chinese visitors destination every for year, Chinese and tourists.we hope theA record numberwill1.7 million double, visitors reaching traveled 120,000to the in country the coming from two China years,”in 2013. Parakian told While China his Daily. city lags far behind France Paris,is the Parakianprime European said that with destination Premier for Li ChineseKeqiang’s tourists. visitA recordto Marseille1.7 millionon Wednesday,visitors traveled moreto the Chinese country people from willknowaboutChina in 2013. it, and the While numbershis cityare likelylags farto grow. behind After Paris, Paris, ParakianLi stopped said off that inMarseillewith Premier during Li his Keqiang’svisit to France.visit to Marseille on Wednesday, more Chinese people will know about it, and “Marseillethe numbers was are designatedlikely to as grow. the After EuropeanParis, Li Capital stopped of Cultureoff in Marseillein 2013. during his visit “It to has France. exceptional cultural and “Marseillenatural heritage,was designated museums as the and Europeanart galleries Capital forof those Culture interestedin 2013. in culture, and “It it has has exceptional historically culturalbeen a destinationand natural for heritage, people museums with creative and inclinations,”art galleries for Parakianthose interestedsaid. in culture, and it has Tourism historicallyis one beenof thea destination major sources for of people growth with and creativejob creation inclinations,” inMarseille. Parakian said.
“Lots Tourismisof peopleone of go the to major Marseille sources to of produce growthand movies, job andcreation Chinesein Marseille.people can see Marseille “Lots in severalof people films,”go to ParakianMarseille said, to adding produce that movies,the city’sand advantagesChinese peoplein the can arts, see Marseille fashion, healthcarein several films,”and digitalParakian access said,will also addinglure moreChinesethat the city’s visitors. advantages in the arts, fashion, Parakian, healthcarewho is in and chargedigital of businessaccess will affairs also inMarseille,lure more Chinese visitors.
Parakian, who is in charge of business affairs in Marseille, said he expects Li’s visit will also attract more Chinese investment to the city, which has extensive road and air transportation infrastructure.
Being the largest commercial port in the Mediterranean and the thirdlargest in Europe, Marseille has many business links with China.
COSCO, the Chinese shipping and logistics services mega supplier, has cooperated with the port of Marseille, which has served as a container and transportation port for many years, Parakian said.
Marseille’s CMA CGM Group, the world’s third largest shipping company, set up its first China office in Shanghaiin 1992. It has developed its business and created strong relations with many Chinese companies, Parakian said.
Wiko Mobile, a popular smartphone in France, is owned by Shenzhenbased Tinno Mobile Technology, which is responsible for most design and production functions. Marseille and Shanghai have been sister cities since 1987.
“We have frequent exchange visits and have signed lots of economic cooperation agreements so far,”Parakiansaid, adding that the two cities also enjoy exchanges in education and sports.
Michel Gutsatz, director of the MBA program at Kedge Business School, which is based in Marseille and Bordeaux, said it was essential to enhance linkswith China.
“The issues facing the world today are significant. France and China have very critical roles to play here,” Gutsatz said.