Foreign trade - Meeting between M. Jean-Yves Le Drian, Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, and M. Christophe Lecourtier, CEO of Business France (Paris, 10 November 2017)


The Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs had a meeting on 10 November with M. Christophe Lecourtier, CEO of Business France.

The Prime Minister set the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs the target of 200,000 exporting companies by 2022, compared to 125,000 today. To meet this target, an overhaul of the public support mechanism for exporters is necessary. In this context, M. Lecourtier presented the main conclusions of his study, which he carried out at the request of the three ministers with responsibility for the operator Business France, MM. Le Drian, Mézard and Le Maire.

As announced when they took office, the aim of the Minister and the Minister of State, Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne, is to create a genuine “public export service”, based on renewed coordination between all the stakeholders, including state operator Business France, the regions – responsible for local economic development – and chambers of commerce and industry, in France and abroad. The new public support mechanism for our export businesses will have to be simpler, more transparent and more efficient for users, which are the businesses. A single entry point will be established regionally to draw up an initial diagnosis for first-time exporters and help SMEs/MSBs conquer new markets. A single point of contact will be tasked with supporting businesses abroad, with ambassadors leading. Throughout the chain of support, new tools will be put in place allowing us to ensure continued support for businesses. This new organization will be based on a radically reformed partnership between all those involved in public- and private-sector export – a partnership which will have to guarantee the same level of requirements and quality nationwide, regardless of which country a business is targeting.

Jean-Yves Le Drian and Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne intend to have a meeting with all export stakeholders soon to present to them this plan for a “public export service”. They will have another working meeting with the regional presidents in December, following the one held on 5 September 2017, in order to determine the practical arrangements for joint action to help restore France’s foreign trade to a sound footing.