With the Depression eroding France’s foreign trade, government authorities felt compelled to convene an imperial conference in order to seek solutions based on the consolidation of economic ties with the Empire, Inspiration came partly from the conference held in Ottawa in 1932 by Great Britain and its Dominions. The aim of the Paris gathering was to promote increased exports to the colonies as a substitute to foreign markets lost during the downswing. Likewise, importers were encouraged to buy from the colonies, rather than from foreign countries, thereby raising the purchasing power of the colonial population and its ability to import French goods. Although the program to institute a coordinated imperial economy appeared logical in principle, its implementation was complicated by economic realities and the non-complementary character of the metropolitan and the colonial economies.

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