Statements made by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Spokesperson (Paris, June 25, 2014)

Israel – Meeting between Mr. Laurent Fabius and his Israeli counterpart (Paris, June 26, 2014)
Chile – Meeting between the minister and Isabel Allende, President of the Chilean Senate (June 25, 2014)
United States – Visit by Ms. Fleur Pellerin (June 25 to 30, 2014)
Attractiveness - French-Korean forum on the creative economy (Paris, June 24, 2014)
Election of the Assembly of French Citizens Abroad (June 21 to 22, 2014)
Nigeria – Terrorist acts
Cultural network update – France-Vietnam Year – “Vietnam, unique and multi-faceted” exhibition (Paris, June 26 to July 6, 2014)
Reception of the "Excellence Major" scholarship students at the Palais du Luxembourg (Paris, June 26, 2014)
Ukraine
UNCTAD report

Israel – Meeting between Mr. Laurent Fabius and his Israeli counterpart (Paris, June 26, 2014)

Mr. Laurent Fabius, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development will meet with his Israeli counterpart, Mr. Avigdor Lieberman, on June 26.

The two ministers will discuss the current situation in the Palestinian Territories, regional issues as well as our bilateral relations.

Mr. Laurent Fabius will reaffirm our support for the resumption of the Israeli-Palestinian peace talks and our determination to encourage the conclusion of an agreement that will put an end to the conflict based on the two-state solution.


Chile – Meeting between the minister and Isabel Allende, President of the Chilean Senate (June 25, 2014)

Ms. Isabel Allende Bussi, President of the Chilean Senate, who is visiting France from June 23 to 25, will today be received by the minister in order to discuss our bilateral relations.

This meeting will provide an opportunity to discuss the prospects for strengthened cooperation with Chile in the economic field and in particular in the energy and transport sectors, as well as in the area of academic and scientific exchanges.


United States – Visit by Ms. Fleur Pellerin (June 25 to 30, 2014)

Ms. Fleur Pellerin is visiting New York with Ubifrance in order to promote French start-ups, SMEs and mid-tier firms with plans for international expansion and to highlight French expertise.

The minister of state will open the French Touch Conference, which should bring together key figures from the digital, technological, lifestyle and creative fields and will focus on the concepts of development, innovation and attractiveness. The conference will highlight in particular the efforts of “French Tech” to promote international expansion.

The minister of state will also visit the French stand at the Fancy Food Show, the largest agri-food show in North America which will bring together more than 40 French export firms, and will visit artisan workshops and major French players in the fields of gastronomy, luxury goods and craftsmanship aiming to expand in the United States in order to discuss their export and development challenges.

More broadly, the minister of state will meet with American tour operators to discuss the promotion of tourism in France and will meet with the city’s French community on several occasions.

Lastly, Ms. Fleur Pellerin will travel to Washington to meet with Mr. Michael Froman, United States Trade Representative.


Attractiveness - French-Korean forum on the creative economy (Paris, June 24, 2014)

Ms. Fleur Pellerin, Minister of State for Foreign Trade, the Promotion of Tourism and French Nationals Abroad, participated in the French-Korean forum on the creative economy on June 24, 2014.

She welcomed the very significant increase in trade – an increase of 15% - between France and Korea in 2013. She reaffirmed her desire to see the swift removal of the remaining regulatory obstacles in Korea, so that trade can continue to increase.

Ms. Fleur Pellerin notably reaffirmed the fundamental importance of innovation and urges Korean investors to choose France as the location for their research centers and industrial projects.


Election of the Assembly of French Citizens Abroad (June 21 to 22, 2014)

Ms. Fleur Pellerin, Minister of State for Foreign Trade, the Promotion of Tourism and French Nationals Abroad, congratulates the 90 councilors of the Assembly of French Citizens Abroad who were newly elected on June 21 and 22.

This election marks a new step forward in the process to modernize the representation of French nationals abroad.

The councilors of the Assembly of French Citizens Abroad, who were elected by the 442 consular advisors, will attend a plenary session in Paris at least twice a year. They will express the views of the consular advisors who serve at the local level on priority issues for our compatriots established outside of France: social protection, employment, professional training, French education and security.

Six senators representing French citizens abroad will be elected in September by the new consular advisors and representatives.

Nigeria – Terrorist acts

France condemns the recent attacks in north-eastern Nigeria, during which around 30 people were killed and more than 60 women were kidnapped.

We express our condolences to the victims’ families and assure the Nigerian authorities and people of our solidarity.

The Paris Summit for Security in Nigeria on May 17 and the follow-up meeting on June 12 in London enabled the international community to strengthen its support for the various stakeholders involved in the fight against terrorism in Nigeria, notably with respect to intelligence and coordination assistance. We commend the mobilization of the states in the region in support of Nigeria’s efforts to combat terrorism. France will continue to play its full role in these efforts.

Cultural network update – France-Vietnam Year – “Vietnam, unique and multi-faceted” exhibition (Paris, June 26 to July 6, 2014)

The “Vietnam, unique and multi-faceted” exhibition – 54 faces and adornments of the Vietnamese nation, can be seen at the Orangerie du Sénat from today until July 6. It will showcase photographs and traditional Vietnamese clothing.

The photo exhibition brings together two artists – one French and the other Vietnamese - providing a cross-cultural perspective of Vietnam. The color and black and white photographs by Sébastien Laval and Lê Vuong reveal the daily lives of Vietnamese people and the changes in their customs that have taken place from the 1980s to now. Conferences, debates and meetings will be held on the sidelines of the exhibition.

This exhibition is part of the France-Vietnam Year which is celebrating the 40th anniversary of diplomatic relations between our two countries. The Institut français and Paris City Hall are notably lending support to the exhibition.

The full program of the France-Vietnam Year can be viewed here:

http://www.anneefrancevietnam.com/

Reception of the "Excellence Major" scholarship students at the Palais du Luxembourg (Paris, June 26, 2014)

After 5 years of higher education in France, foreign students from the "Excellence Major" program will be received tomorrow at the Palais du Luxembourg.

The "Excellence Major" program forms part of the policy to promote French higher education and enhance its attractiveness. It is aimed at the best foreign students from French schools abroad who would like to continue their high-level studies in our country. It is managed by the Agency for French Education Abroad.

The "Excellence Major" program currently supports nearly 800 students who are also ambassadors for the French education model. Thanks to their dual cultural background and their perfect command of several languages, these students are also valuable contacts who will support the international development of French companies.

Ukraine

The Ukrainian authorities have announced that there have been 44 violations of the truce. The terrorists shot down a helicopter yesterday. What are the prospects for the Ukrainian president’s peace plan? In your opinion, what action by Russia would mean the start of the de-escalation in Ukraine? Can you confirm that Russia is trying to recruit French citizens to go to Ukraine in order to fight alongside terrorists?

We support the peace plan proposed by President Poroshenko. As Laurent Fabius indicated following the Foreign Affairs Council on Monday, we have asked the Russians to get involved so that this plan can become reality. President Putin’s recent announcements about this are in the right direction.

France condemns the attack perpetrated yesterday against a Ukrainian military helicopter, which reportedly killed 9 people. We present our condolences to the victims’ families and assure the Ukrainian authorities and people of our solidarity. Those responsible for this crime must be identified and brought to justice. France calls on all parties to respect the ceasefire in order to help stabilize eastern Ukraine.

With regard to your last question, we don’t have any information about that.


UNCTAD report

What’s your response to the publication of UNCTAD’s report which confirms that investment in France has declined?

Numerous reports show that France’s attractiveness is increasing.

UNCTAD’s figures, like those of the Banque de France, show a 53% increase in investments leading to the setting up of new operations in France. This indicator of investment in the economic activity of a country reflects the “real” economy.

UNCTAD’s report also shows that France has moved up 4 places in the ranking of investment projects led by multinational companies for the period 2014-2016.

According to AT Kearney, France has reclaimed its position among the top 10 most attractive countries. The barometer of France’s attractiveness published in May 2014 shows that France remains the leading European country in terms of the number of industrial activity projects, creating 4,806 jobs in 2013.

UNCTAD does not distinguish between productive investment and corporate tax optimization.

This is in contrast to the figures produced by Banque de France, which applies the new methodology recommended by the IMF and the OECD. UNCTAD uses a different method to report the internal financial operations of multinational groups.

The assertion in UNCTAD’s report that investment flows into France have fallen by 80% is therefore questionable due to this biased methodology.

We pointed this out to UNCTAD in January, but it has not taken it into account.