Vietnam – Visit by Olivier Becht (Feb. 28 – Mar. 2, 2023)
Olivier Becht, Minister Delegate for Foreign Trade, Economic Attractiveness and French Nationals Abroad, attached to the Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, will be in Vietnam from February 28 to March 2 for the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between our two countries. He will take part in the Asia-Pacific Forum of French Foreign Trade Advisors.
During his visit, Mr. Becht will meet with several Vietnamese officials, particularly the Prime Minister and the Minister of Industry and Trade.
He will reaffirm the importance we attribute to cooperation with Vietnam as part of France’s Indo-Pacific strategy and the government’s support for strengthening France’s economic presence in the region.
He will express France’s support for major projects headed by French companies in Vietnam and for the establishment of new partnerships. He will underscore the importance of France’s industrial presence in the healthcare sector during a visit to the Sanofi plant that has operated in Vietnam for 70 years and employs 1,100 people, 400 of them at this manufacturing site. As a key member of ASEAN, Vietnam hosts nearly 170 subsidiaries of France-based groups, accounting for some 24,000 jobs.
Mr. Becht will meet with Vietnam’s large French community, its consular advisors and representatives of French associations. He will also visit Hanoi’s lycée français, France’s flagship school in Southeast Asia.
Serbia – Kosovo – Agreement in principle between Serbia and Kosovo on the EU proposal to normalize relations (Feb. 27, 2023)
Following yesterday’s meeting in Brussels hosted by EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell, Serbia and Kosovo agreed in principle to the EU-backed agreement to normalize relations between their two countries.
France welcomes this courageous decision. It now expects Serbia and Kosovo to commit without reservation and in the same spirit of compromise to implement this agreement, which is vital to the stability of the Western Balkans. It also reiterates that all of the agreements reached under the EU-brokered Belgrade-Pristina Dialogue must be implemented without delay, including provisions dealing with the Association/Community of Serb-majority municipalities in Kosovo.
France remains fully committed to the EU mediation effort and to the swift normalization of relations between Serbia and Kosovo.
Northern Ireland Protocol agreement
On the new Northern Ireland protocol negotiated between the European Commission and the British Government, does France welcome a new climate of trust in Ireland?
Also, on the issue of fishing rights in British waters, is France satisfied with the current state of things?
Minister Catherine Colonna yesterday thanked the European Commission and the United Kingdom for the work done on the Northern Ireland Protocol agreement, which should protect our shared goals after Brexit and for the future relationship between the European Union and the UK.
French fishing vessels’ access to British waters is a separate issue relating to the implementation of the Trade and Cooperation Agreement.