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France, China to set up joint investment fund for overseas projects

France and China will set up a fund for joint investment in overseas projects, France’s foreign minister said on Monday, as China’s voracious appetite for overseas acquisitions continues to grow despite some recent stumbles in overseas markets.

“Hinkley Point is a very good example of what we’re going to do together, to win contracts in third markets and in all sectors” Jean-Marc Ayrault told reporters at a joint briefing with China’s foreign minister Wang Yi in Beijing. He was referring to a $24-billion Franco-Chinese project to build Britain’s first nuclear power plant station in decades.

“It’s a model that we support everywhere, including in Africa and Asia,” he said.

The new joint fund will be set up soon, he said, without giving further details.

The Hinkley Point project finally got the go-ahead after Britain’s new prime minister Theresa May delayed the deal because of national security concerns.

Chinese nuclear company China General Nuclear Power Corporation (CGN) will invest 6 billion pounds ($7.31 billion) into the 18 billion pound EDF Hinkley Point project.

As part of the agreement, EDF will help CGN gain a license to build its own nuclear reactor, Hualong, in Britain, whose nuclear regulatory regime is seen as one of the most stringent in the world.

China is keen to establish itself as an exporter of nuclear expertise so successfully building a plant in Britain will open the door to other markets.


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