Zhuo Xuguang, chairman of a federation of Chinese businesspeople in France [Photo/Zheshang Magazine]
"From being a domestic civil servant to being an overseas Chinese in France, I always try to keep pace with China's development," said Zhuo Xuguang, a businessman from Qingtian county of Lishui, Zhejiang province.
Zhuo, born in an overseas Chinese family in 1963, served as a civil servant in the local government from 1983 to 1988. At the age of 25, he moved to France and began a new life with his family there.
Though his elder generations had accumulated enough wealth for him, Zhuo decided to carve out his own career in the European country. He began to do textile business in Paris and after two years of struggles, his company gained a firm foothold in the import and export of textile products.
The initial success attracted the attention from Chinese compatriots. Later, Zhuo collaborated with four Chinese businesspeople and helped them enter the textile market. Gradually, a community of Chinese businessmen was formed and Zhuo, due to his selfless assistance and commitment, won the respect from both his partners and competitors.
Today, there are more than 1,700 Chinese wholesale enterprises in the textile industry in Paris. In addition to French purchasers, many clients from the western Europe are placing orders on Chinese textile products and the businesses are seen to be expanding into the eastern Europe, the northern Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
"I believe that with the development of China's reform and opening-up, Chinese products will be more competitive on the global stage," said Zhuo.
In 2003, a federation of Chinese businesspeople was approved by the French government and Zhuo was elected to be the chairman.
Based on the organization, Zhuo has arranged more than 300 activities to facilitate matchmaking between Chinese and foreign companies. Every year, he leads over 10 overseas delegations to China for potential cooperation opportunities.
In 2015, Zhuo acted as the go-between for the establishment of friendship between Lishui's Dagangtou town and France's Barbizon village. Over the last three years, a series of exchange activities have been organized to strengthen the close ties of the two regions.
Zhuo thought the fate of overseas Chinese is closely connected with the motherland's development and China's reform and opening-up policy is beneficial to Chinese people all over the world.