The French Ministry of Foreign Affairs on June 25 appointed Philippe Varin, former CEO of France’s PSA Peugeot Citroen automobile manufacturer, as special envoy in charge of the country’s economic ties with ASEAN.

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), which has a combined population of almost 600 million, is France’s second largest trading partner in Asia after China. Therefore, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius considered developing ties with the ASEAN member nations as his country’s priority strategy.

According to the Ministry, Philippe Varin is very knowledgeable about Asia, especially ASEAN. In the new position, he is hoped to make effective contributions to the country’s activities to draw ASEAN enterprises to France.-VNA