The Second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation, which began on April 25, concludes today. Chinese President Xi Jinping delivered a keynote speech at the opening of the event.

During the address, President Xi reiterated that the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is an opportunity for common development, and announced more ways of opening-up the Chinese market.

Former French Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin to discuss his views on the potential of the BRI and how China can work with France regarding Africa.

“We don’t want to be in a trade war which is very bad for growth, so we want to support cooperation. And we agree when President Xi Jinping says we need more cooperation and fewer tensions,” he said.

Looking ahead, he hopes the new cooperation will lead to development and progress for humanity rather than trade wars.

When it comes to a framework like the BRI the keyword for France is pragmatism. “France has some projects to propose to the Chinese authority. We agree with the vision of the BRI, but we want precise and concrete projects, some operational cooperation. I think that is why the BRI is a great idea, the world is very dangerous, and we need more cooperation and less tension,” Raffarin explained.

France continues to play its traditional role in the African continent. There’s a huge potential in China and France working together in Africa. It could be a perfect case of how a developing economy and a developed economy cooperate for something that is much more than themselves, according to Raffarin.

Raffarin agreed that China and France can promote new projects with lots of new opportunities in many countries. He suggested that the two countries can cooperate in developing poor regions like rural areas in Africa.