Statements made by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Development Spokesperson (Paris - September 29, 2016)
• Participation by Jean-Marc Ayrault, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development, in a meeting with the American Chamber of Commerce (September 29, 2016)
• Egypt – Visit by Matthias Fekl to Cairo (September 29, 2016)
• Budget of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Development – 2017 finance bill
• Ukraine – Flight MH17
Jean-Marc Ayrault, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development, is going to London on Thursday September 29 to celebrate the signing of the investment agreement which definitively begins the construction by EDF Energy, in partnership with the Chinese electricity corporation CGN, of two EPR reactors using Areva technology, on the site at Hinkley Point, Somerset.
On this occasion, Mr. Ayrault will have a meeting with Boris Johnson, the United Kingdom’s Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, Greg Clark, Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, and Nur Bekri, Director of China’s National Energy Administration (NEA).
The Hinkley Point project will benefit both the French nuclear sector and British industry, and the partnership with China will allow us to consolidate the position of the three countries in the field of civilian nuclear energy, which plays an essential part in the fight against climate change.
This morning, Jean-Marc Ayrault received the members of the Executive Board of the American Chamber of Commerce in France (AMCHAM) as well as U.S. Ambassador Jane Hartley to discuss measures to enhance France’s attractiveness and economic relations between France and the United States.
The minister reaffirmed the importance of bilateral economic ties. The United States is the most popular destination for French investment abroad, and U.S. firms invest massively in France, with more than 4,800 subsidiaries in our country employing more 460,000 people.
Avenues for cooperation bringing together AMCHAM, its firms and the U.S. and French authorities were identified during this in-depth discussion, notably with respect to start-up financing and the development of the French digital sector.
Matthias Fekl, Minister of State for Foreign Trade, the Promotion of Tourism and French Nationals Abroad, will visit Cairo on September 29.
This visit will provide an opportunity to reaffirm the importance of the economic and trade partnership between France and Egypt.
During this visit, the minister of state will meet with Egyptian Prime Minister Sherif Ismail. He will also meet with Minister of Trade and Industry Tarek Kabil, as well as Moustafa Kamal Madbouli, Minister of Housing, Utilities and Urban Development.
Matthias Fekl will meet with the representatives of the French community.
France is Egypt’s 8th largest trading partner, with exports worth €2.1 billion, and its 6th largest investor, with 160 French firms operating in the country. Egypt accounts for France’s 8th largest trading surplus in the world.
The 2017 budget of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Development comes to €4.6797 billion and breaks down as follows:
- €3.0284 billion for external action of the State (programs 105, 151 and 185)
- €1.6513 billion for official development assistance (program 209 only)
At constant scope (accounting for the one-time credits allocated for COP 21 in 2016, i.e., €139.2 million that is non-renewable for 2017), the budget is up by %115 (+€53.4 million), in order to meet the following priories:
- with respect to external action of the State, increasing resources devoted to the security of French nationals abroad, the fight against terrorism and radicalization (+€62.6 million);
- with respect to official development assistance, increasing assistance in the form of donations (+€83.4 million), in accordance with the trajectory established by the President (on the order of €400 million by 2020).
At the same time, the Ministry is working to control public spending and reduce deficits. Structural savings will be made in 2017 on the State’s external action and will affect:
- contributions to international organizations
- Ministry operations, notably with respect to the streamlining of networks abroad.
The Ministry will also help reduce the national debt by €60 million.
France welcomes the report of the Joint Investigation Team on the destruction of Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17. It represents a decisive step in establishing the facts and determining those responsible for committing this outrageous crime.
The investigation is to continue in the coming months; we call on the Russian Federation to cooperate with it, as requested, in a constructive, transparent manner.
France will stand alongside the member states of the Joint Investigation Team to ensure that those responsible are held accountable for their actions, in accordance with resolution 2166 adopted by the UN Security Council on July 21, 2014.