Port city seeks to in­crease its ap­peal

China Daily (Canada) - - FRONT PAGE - InMar­seille, France zhangchun­yan@ chi­nadaily.com.cn By ZHANG CHUNYAN in Mar­seille, France zhangchun­yan@chi­nadaily. com.cn

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.

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