Finland – Conversation between Franck Riester and Ville Skinnari, Finnish Minister for Development Cooperation and Foreign Trade (21 Oct. 2020)


Franck Riester, Minister Delegate for Foreign Trade and Economic Attractiveness, attached to the Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, spoke with Ville Skinnari, Finnish Minister for Development Cooperation and Foreign Trade, on October 21.

The ministers discussed European issues (relations with the United Kingdom, recovery plans), EU trade policy issues and challenges (review of European trade policy, relations with our key partners, WTO) and our principal bilateral cooperation issues, notably in the digital field.

In terms of trade, Mr. Riester reaffirmed France’s goals with respect to strengthening value chains and ensuring the security of the supply of strategic goods in the context of the coronavirus epidemic, as well as with respect to taking greater account of sustainable development issues in European trade policy. Compliance with the Paris climate agreement must become an essential clause in future trade agreements. The minister delegate also called for the strengthening of European tools to combat unfair trade practices and reaffirmed that it would be impossible for France to support the draft agreement between the EU and Mercosur as it stands, given the lack of environmental guarantees, notably with respect to the fight against deforestation.