France eyes becoming trading hub for China yuan

Paris has what it takes to become the eurozone's main offshore trading hub for the Chinese yuan, French Finance Minister Pierre Moscovici said in Hong Kong on Friday.

Moscovici told an audience of Chinese businessmen that the currency, also known as the renminbi (RMB), "has taken on a growing role on the international stage".

"The Paris financial market has exactly what it takes to become the main RMB offshore market within the eurozone," he said.

Beijing has campaigned to increase the international use of the yuan and Hong Kong has been the main centre for the business. But the southern Chinese city is facing growing competition from centres including London, currently Europe's main trading hub for the currency.

Moscovici also noted that the Parisien financial centre "plays a prominent role in the trade and investment flows between China and French-speaking Africa", a continent in which the Asian giant has made a huge investment push.

France is looking to increase trade and investment links with the growing Chinese market and drum up anaemic rates of growth in the eurozone's number-two economy.