Economic diplomacy: First International Forum for SMEs abroad [fr]
On March 11 2015, French ministry of foreign affairs and international development hosted the first Forum of SMEs abroad.
Nearly 500 SMEs participated to this first meeting in Paris, led by Matthias Fekl, Secretary of State in charge of external trade, tourism promotion and French citizens abroad. All the actors involved were present to answer entrepreneurs’ questions: Business France, BPI France, territorial authorities, chambers of commerce and industry, and professional organizations such as MEDEF and CGPME.
SMEs provided feedback about their experiences. The actors involved in the six preferential exporting sectors (food industry, health, sustainable city, information technologies, tourism, cultural and creative industries) led workshops.
Resulting from this work, an action plan in order to reinforce the internationalization of French economy has been proposed, taking into account sectorial and geographical preferences.
Moreover, two conventions were signed during this Forum with the purpose to simplify and consolidate the guidance provided to SMEs abroad.
This event has to be understood in the context of economic diplomacy’s reinforcement that aims at serving French firms, as wanted by Laurent Fabius, French minister of Foreign Affairs.