The Export-Import Bank of China (Cexim) has opened its first overseas branch, in Paris.

The Chinese export credit agency follows in the footsteps of the Bank of China and the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, both of whom recently established Parisian offices.

“The creation of Paris branch allows Cexim to possess a financial services platform closer to its market and clients in Europe,” says Li Ruogu, president of Cexim.

Ruogu added that the move would benefit Sino-French trade relations, which have often been rocky.

Earlier in the year, China threatened to impose heavy tariffs on the import of European wines in response to the EU’s levies on the import of Chinese solar panels. A deal was subsequently reached, but France was vocal in its outrage at the Chinese reaction, given that it is the major wine exporter of Europe.

French officials welcomed the move. Serge Boscher, managing director of Invest in France, says: “The establishment of a Chinese bank in France means not only the arrival of a new Chinese company, but also a guarantee that the bank will attract other (Chinese) companies to France.”