The Quai d’Orsay should also be, through all its tasks, the home of businesses". Laurent Fabius, Minister of Foreign Affairs on 9 April 2013, during the closure of the “Rencontres Quai d’Orsay – Entreprises" scheme.
Economic recovery is the Government’s priority. It requires a rebalancing of the current account, and thus results on markets abroad. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has the second largest diplomatic network world wide. It can and must contribute. Economic diplomacy represents this contribution to the country’s collective effort and is thus an essential priority for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
French economic diplomacy, which is also ecological, aims to achieve three main complementary goals:
support our companies on foreign markets;
attract foreign investment to our country to create jobs;
better adapt the European and international regulatory framework to our defensive and offensive economic interests.The promotion of France’s economic interests is traditionally one of the roles of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. But economic diplomacy has not always managed to adapt its goals, resources and organization to make the economic issue a policy priority. It has thus had to adapt its organization to exacerbated international competition in a context of globalization where the level of international exposure has greatly increased. Amongst its diplomatic and consular staff, it has also developed the "economic reflex".
Given the importance and urgency of restoring our economy, and in particular our current account balance, an action plan dedicated to economic diplomacy is being implemented by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in liaison with the other competent administrations.
This action plan for economic diplomacy was presented during the Conference of Ambassadors on 27 August 2012, where it was the key theme. The Minister of Foreign Affairs made public the progress of this action plan during an open day dedicated to businesses, the "Rencontres Quai d’Orsay – Entreprises", on 9 April 2013. This was the largest event ever organized by the Ministry for businesses (700 participants).