The Daily Press Briefing

Statements made by
the Ministry for Europe
and Foreign Affairs
Spokesperson


Paris - April 17, 2020
In this issue:

◢  Foreign trade – Telephone meeting between Jean-Yves Le Drian and all export stakeholders on the consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic (April 17, 2020)

◢  World Bank / IMF – Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne taking part in the Development Committee meeting (April 17, 2020)

◢  EU – Meeting between Amélie de Montchalin and her Portuguese and Spanish counterparts (April 17, 2020)

 
Foreign trade – Telephone meeting between Jean-Yves Le Drian and all export stakeholders on the consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic (April 17, 2020)

Jean-Yves Le Drian, Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, held a conference call on April 17 with regional presidents, parliamentarians, public and private export stakeholders and industry representatives to discuss the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic for foreign trade and French exports. Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne, Minister of State attached to the Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, and Agnès Pannier-Runacher, Minister of State attached to the Minister for Economy and Finance, also took part in this meeting.

Following on from the measures taken by the government to support businesses, and the announcement on March 31 of the first specific actions to support exporters, this meeting provided an opportunity to take stock of the situation with regard to the consequences of the pandemic for export companies, notably small and medium-sized enterprises. Based on the analysis presented by the public and private export operators, an initial assessment was made of the measures already taken to address the immediate consequences of the crisis in terms of assistance, information and financial support for export companies.

The government and the regions agreed to strengthen their partnership in order to integrate export concerns into the response to the impact of the Covid-19 epidemic on the French export industry and on international markets, notably with the support of Team France Export, which has already done a great deal of work in order to respond to the immediate needs of businesses. In accordance with the government's international trade strategy since the start of the five-year term, this partnership will make it possible to coordinate the actions to support the French economy's expansion into international markets, especially by its SMEs and mid-cap companies over the next few months, so that our companies can protect their export opportunities and propel themselves into international markets as soon as health conditions allow.

https://www.diplomatie.gouv.fr/fr/le-ministere-et-son-reseau/actualites-du-ministere/informations-coronavirus-covid-19/coronavirus-declarations-et-communiques/article/communique-de-presse-plan-de-soutien-aux-entreprises-francaises-exportatrices



World Bank / IMF – Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne taking part in the Development Committee meeting (April 17, 2020)

Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne, Minister of State attached to the Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, is taking part in today's meeting of the Joint Ministerial Committee of the Boards of Governors of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

The Committee will review the effects of the Covid-19 crisis in developing countries. It will discuss the $14 billion plan adopted on March 17 by the World Bank to fund approximately 100 projects, a third of which are in sub-Saharan Africa, as well as the medium-term effort to put together a $160 billion package focusing on macro-economic support.

Following the historic agreement reached by bilateral creditors within the Paris Club and G20 and spearheaded by France, the Committee will discuss the moratorium on debt service by the poorest countries, adopted by the G20 on April 15. The minister will point out that this will give 77 of the poorest countries flexibility as they deal with the pandemic.

On April 8, France announced that it would immediately deploy €1.2 billion in bilateral resources for Africa, boost the capacities of its research institutes and establish a platform to coordinate technical assistance needs.



EU – Meeting between Amélie de Montchalin and her Portuguese and Spanish counterparts (April 17, 2020)

Amélie de Montchalin, Minister of State for European Affairs attached to the Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, held a conference call on April 17 with her Spanish and Portuguese counterparts, Juan Gonzàlez-Barba and Ana Paula Zacarias. This is the fourth meeting in this format, following meetings held in Paris (October 11, 2018), Lisbon (July 11, 2019) and Madrid (February 18, 2020), illustrating our three countries' resolve to work together closely on a stronger, more sovereign Europe, with a greater degree of solidarity.

During this meeting, they discussed the European response to the Covid-19 crisis ahead of the next videoconference of EU European affairs ministers on April 22, and that of heads of state and government on April 23. France, Spain and Portugal are convinced that European solidarity is necessary to defeat the pandemic and revive our economies. Ms. de Montchalin and her counterparts therefore agreed to work closely on the European economic response, which must include an ambitious European recovery plan funded jointly and consistent with European priorities, notably the fight against climate change and digital and social issues. They also discussed continuing European coordination in the current phase and the strategies for ending the quarantine being defined in each country.

The three European affairs ministers exchanged views on the need to reshape Europe, as highlighted by this crisis, and especially the need to formulate an autonomous European health, agricultural and industrial strategy. The Conference on the Future of Europe will play an important role in bringing citizens into the conversation on building a more sovereign Europe characterized by greater solidarity.

Finally, Ms. de Montchalin and her counterparts spoke about negotiations on the future relationship with the United Kingdom and the challenges of abiding by the rule of law during a health crisis.


France in the
United States
Embassy of France in Washington, D.C.
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