Weak euro a boost for European exporters: French minister

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The weaker euro will be a boost for European exporters, French Trade Minister Anne-Marie Idrac said Tuesday, despite widespread concerns over the recent slump in the single currency.

"It is very difficult to say in terms of figures but of course it will have an impact for the competitivity of European firms, at least those which produce in the Eurozone and who sell in other zones," she said.

"It is evident that this evolution of the euro since a few weeks ago will have an impact," she told AFP during a visit to Malaysia.

Idrac said the situation would now be "a little easier" for companies like French defence firm EADS, which produces in euros and sells in dollars and faces stiff US competition.

"Nevertheless the most important issue is the competitiveness of our industry and the proof of that is that at the beginning of this year our French exports began to rise, even before the recent evolution of the currency rate."

"So this evolution is a booster of course for exporters, it's a booster adding to the competitiveness that we are working very hard for," she said.

Idrac said that recent French trade data was "very encouraging", a trend she credited to the global economic recovery as well as increased competitiveness among exporters.

The minister said that while the WTO and the IMF were tipping a 10 percent increase in global trade this year, France's performance would be tempered by its reliance on the eurozone, which is "not the most dynamic".

"So we hope that we will have a good share of the global growth of trade which is predicted to be around 10 percent," she said.

© 2010 AFP

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