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China is changing at an amazing speed. It is the sixth world economic power after the United-States, Japan, Germany, France and Great Britain. If its GDP continues its current rate of growth, China will take the place of fourth world power in five years.

Demonstrations of China's international recognition are numerous: its joining the World Trade Organization, the choice of Beijing for the 2008 Olympic Games, the Shanghai world exposition in 2010. The country offers excellent business prospects and attracts keen interest from overseas investors and exporters.

China already has a large market of demanding and enthusiastic consumers of new, quality products (the middle class is estimated as being 150 million people). Since the beginning of 2000, retail sales have been growing annually by more than 10%. China is in the process of becoming one of the fastest growing markets in the world. The authorities expect a doubling of China's GDP between now and 2010.

Whole sectors of the economy will open, offering our companies an ever greater variety of opportunities to get involved directly in the market. In addition, the obligation for China to face foreign competition openly will lead it to strengthen its competitiveness and equip itself with the latest technology. All this provides even greater opportunities for our companies.
Shanghai is called "the little New York" of Asia. Its unprecedented growth is greater than any other of the Chinese provinces. Its favoured geographical location is near to Tokyo and Seoul. Shanghai is in the process of becoming the economic centre of Asia.

It is the leading Chinese port and fifth in the world in terms of containers.
Shanghai is the leading destination for foreign investment in China: 60 to 100 leading international companies have a presence there. It represents 25% of the country's industrial production. The leading centre of consumption (16 million inhabitants), its two provinces account for 20% of Chinese GDP.

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