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Backgrounder: Key facts about the Republic of France

07-09-2010 16:30 BJT Special Report:Wu Bangguo Visits France, Serbia, Switzerland |

BEIJING, July 6 (Xinhua) -- Wu Bangguo, chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress of China, will pay an official goodwill visit to France on July 7-13.

The following are key facts about the Republic of France:

France is located in western Europe and shares borders with Belgium, Luxembourg, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, Monaco, Spain and Andorra. It is also linked to Britain by the Channel Tunnel which passes underneath the English Channel.

With a total area of 632,834 square km, France is the third largest country in Europe behind Russia and Ukraine. Its population reached 65.4 million as of January 2010, the 20th largest in the world. Paris is the nation's capital.

France is one of the most developed countries with the fifth largest economy in the world. In 2009, its GDP total reached 2.108 trillion U.S. dollars, and per capita GDP was 42,747 dollars.

France enjoys a leading position in sectors such as nuclear power, aerospace, and railway. According to the WTO, in 2009 France was the world's sixth-largest exporter and the fourth-largest importer of manufactured goods.

In 2008, France was the third-largest recipient of foreign direct investment and the second most important outward direct investor in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.

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