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Economic diplomacy: visit by Matthias Fekl to the United States

Economic diplomacy: visit by Matthias Fekl to the United States

Published on June 7, 2016
Matthias Fekl, Minister of State for Foreign Trade, the Promotion of Tourism and French Nationals Abroad, will visit San Francisco and Washington from June 7 to 10.

spip_logoIn San Francisco on June 7, Matthias Fekl will take part in the BIO (Biotechnology Industry Organization) International Convention, which attracts more than 2,000 exhibitors and 15,000 visitors every year. France will have a strong presence at the convention, with more than a hundred or so French firms, including a large number of SMEs, mid-cap companies and start-ups. French biotechnology firms will present their innovations in three major areas to Matthias Fekl during his visit: health, the agri-food sector and the environment.

In Napa Valley on June 8, Matthias Fekl will meet with wine producers to discuss the issue of geographical indications and exports in the agri-food sector. He will then deliver a speech at the University of California, Berkeley, on the future of world trade.

Lastly, in Washington, Matthias Fekl will meet with Michael Froman, United States Trade Representative, to discuss trade negotiations, including on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership. He will also meet with Penny Pritzker, United States Secretary of Commerce, as well as members of Congress and representatives of NGOs, unions and think tanks.


On Friday, June 10, The European Institute will host a special meeting with The Honorable Matthias Fekl, Minister of State for Foreign Trade at the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs to discuss the future of multilateral trade. In the wake of the failed Doha Round, the global trading system has accelerated its transition to mega-regional trade deals, such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). At their core, these efforts are centered on establishing global norms and eliminating trade barriers, just as new economies come into their own and play a increasingly important role in the world’s economy. On both sides of the Atlantic, however, regional trade deals are losing their public lustre, and public opinion, whipped up by nativism and political opportunism, has grown increasingly cool to multinational agreements. So what lies ahead for the complex “new world” of international trade?

Mr. Fekl has held his current position since September of 2014. He was elected to the French National Assembly in 2012, representing the Aquitaine region. Before entering the National Assembly, he held local and regional offices in Aquitaine including Regional Councilor and Vice President with responsibility for economic development, employment and businesses and councilor in the town of Marmande, Lot-et-Garonne Department, where he was also Deputy Mayor for Finance. Concurrently, Mr. Fekl also served as the head of the Private Office of Mr. Jean-Pierre Bel, President of the Socialist Party in the French Senate, before becoming Advisor to the President of the Senate until 2012. Mr. Fekl is a graduate of Sciences Po, as well as an alumnus of École Normale Supérieure (ENS), in Arts and Humanities, and of the French National School of Public Administration (ENA).

The meeting will be held at the Metropolitan Club located at 1700 H Street, NW on Friday, June 10, from 10:30AM – 12:00PM Noon. Please email to register.

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