"A new stage and a renewed vision of the bilateral relationship between Argentina and France began in 2016 with the signing of a joint statement of cooperation" stated Foreign Minister Jorge Faurie in the city of Santa Fe, where the 3rd French-Argentine Forum on Decentralized Cooperation will be held with a view to developing and expanding joint projects between cities and provinces (regions) of both countries.
Faurie highlighted the fact that his statement "included decentralized cooperation, which consolidates the position of regions and territories, and acknowledges their capability to develop concrete international ties and share experience and good practices for territorial development, with a view to benefiting the people and complementing national policies." It is worth mentioning that decentralized cooperation with France is Argentina's most important cooperation component.
The foreign Minister underscored that "since 2008, more than 30 French and Argentine local communities have developed projects in relation to tourism, culture, production, heritage, parks conservation, competitiveness clusters, professional training and environmental preservation. In addition, 39 projects have been carried out after joint hard work. Therefore, this forum is a great opportunity to consider ideas that can be effectively implemented and contribute to the improvement of the quality of life of our communities."
Joined by the Mayor of the city of Santa Fe, José Corral, the French Ambassador to Argentina, Pierre Henri Guignard, and the head of the Argentine group of United Cities of France, Patrick Geroudet, Faurie stated that "subnational" cooperation is part of Argentina's intelligent integration with the world, adding: "When I had the honour of being ambassador to France, I was able to gain a deep knowledge of the ties and projects between Argentine and French provinces and cities."
"Our countries have a relationship of great historical strength based on shared values, a dynamic present focused on exchanges of all sorts, and an ambitious future in sectors such as technology industries and the use of clean energy," stated the Foreign Minister. He also highlighted the fact that cooperation between Argentina and France dates back to Gaulle's historic visit to Argentina in 1964, when he and President Illia signed an agreement on education, culture, science and technical cooperation.
In addition, Faurie reaffirmed "Argentina's solidarity with the people of France following the fire that broke out in Notre Dame Cathedral, a religious and cultural symbol of French history."
After the forum, the Foreign Minister will hold a series of meetings with businessmen and intermediate, hospitality, aviation and gastronomic organizations, among others, in the run-up to the Summit of Heads of State of MERCOSUR Member and Associate States, to be held in the City of Santa Fe in July.