North Macedonia, Serbia, Albania – Olivier Becht’s visit to the Western Balkans (September 19-26, 2023)
Olivier Becht, Minister Delegate for Foreign Trade, Economic Attractiveness and French Nationals Abroad, attached to the Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, is visiting the Western Balkans from September 19 to 26. He will be in North Macedonia, Serbia and Albania.
This visit is designed to strengthen our economic cooperation with Serbia. Trade between our two countries has surpassed €1.6 billion and is bolstered by the presence of 120 French companies in Serbia. It will also offer an opportunity for the minister delegate to highlight the benefits to citizens from projects that receive support from the French Development Agency (AFD), a major source of funding in the region; they are contributing to concrete, visible changes on the ground, particularly in the rail sector, urban mobility, waste management and water resource management.
It also aims to expand our partnerships with North Macedonia and Albania, two countries to which French companies could bring their expertise, particularly in the areas of infrastructure and renewable energies.
The visit will especially emphasize France’s support for the ecological and energy transitions in the Western Balkans. The minister delegate will visit several projects involving French companies, especially in the field of photovoltaics.
Lastly, on September 26, Mr. Becht will take part in the Berlin Process meeting of economy ministers, held in Tirana. This group aims to promote regional cooperation consistent with European norms.
Hong Kong – Meeting between Olivier Becht and Hong Kong Financial Secretary Paul Chan (September 19, 2023)
On September 19, Olivier Becht, Minister Delegate for Foreign Trade, Economic Attractiveness and French Nationals Abroad, attached to the Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, met with Paul Chan, the Financial Secretary of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, during their opening of the “Think Business, Think Hong Kong” economic and business symposium held in Paris that same day.
During their conversation, the two ministers hailed the revival of economic and business exchanges between France and Hong Kong after the Covid-19 pandemic. The minister delegate emphasized the need to restore a business climate that fosters trust among economic actors. He reiterated France’s dedication to the rule of law, international commitments and the “one country, two systems” principle which were vital to Hong Kong’s development and economic attractiveness over the past several decades. The two ministers agreed on the need to step up investments and trade between Hong Kong and France.