Presentation by M. Laurent Fabius, Minister of Foreign Affairs, of France’s new cultural diplomacy (Lille, 17 July 2013)
Yesterday in Lille, at the end of the Journées du réseau de coopération et d’action culturelle [cooperation and cultural action network conference], M. Laurent Fabius, Minister of Foreign Affairs, presented France’s new cultural diplomacy.
Among other things, M. Fabius reaffirmed the need, in the context of increased international competition, to ensure that the diplomacy of influence conducted by our cooperation and cultural action network is consistent with all of our diplomatic efforts.
This is now contributing to our country’s economic recovery by supporting the international expansion of companies, promoting our country’s attractiveness, encouraging the teaching of our language and the spread of our culture, and facilitating arrangements for foreign students in France, for whom the process of issuing visas will be simplified.
The methods used to exert influence must be coordinated based on the need for economic recovery and must support the sectors that are of strategic importance to France, such as tourism, research and development and the promotion of heritage and arts-related jobs.
To take up this challenge, France has many assets whose value can be even further enhanced: the cultural and creative industries which already account for 5% of our exports, the audiovisual sector which must have strategies that are tailored to every region of the world, the digital revolution which is providing new opportunities for investment, and the academic and scientific exchanges supporting the international development of our universities.
France also has the largest cultural network in the world, the boundaries of which will be redefined, notably in order to allow us to have a greater presence in the emerging countries.
Lastly, our language is a major asset, notably in Africa, which could soon have more than 700 million French speakers. M. Laurent Fabius confirmed our commitment to an ambitious policy to promote the French language. (...)./.