Minister of State Valcourt Promotes Economic Development Among Francophonie Member Countries

July 4, 2012 - The Honourable Bernard Valcourt, Minister of State (Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency) (La Francophonie), took part this week in the second Rencontre internationale de la Francophonie économique [international meeting of La Francophonie on the economy] (RIFÉ) and the first French Language World Forum, in the city of Québec.

“The meeting is unique not only because it is being held in French, but also because it reflects our desire to see the International Organisation of La Francophonie promote closer economic and trade ties among its member countries,” said Minister Valcourt.

RIFÉ 2012 is being held in parallel with the Forum. RIFÉ’s goal of promoting economic and trade development is consistent with the Government of Canada’s priority of promoting long-term economic prosperity.

“La Francophonie’s economic vitality hinges on the success of its small and medium-sized businesses, which must be allowed to bring this vitality to every corner of La Francophonie,” said Minister Valcourt. “This meeting is an opportunity for participants to dare to be the architects of this project.”

The Minister took part in several events, in particular the opening ceremonies of the Forum and of RIFÉ. The French Language World Forum is aimed at civil society and youth. It brings together some 1,500 participants, of which half are youths between the ages of 18 and 35. Many of the participants come from West Africa, Central Africa and the Maghreb. French-speaking Canadians from minority-language communities also have a significant presence at the event.

While in the city of Québec, Minister Valcourt also met with Monique Gagnon‑Tremblay, Quebec’s Minister of International Relations and Minister responsible for La Francophonie, to discuss the progress that the Democratic Republic of Congo must achieve in human rights, democratization and good governance in view of the next Francophonie Summit, which will take place in Kinshasa from October 12 to 14, 2012.

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For further information, media representatives may contact:

Andréa Richer
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of State (Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency) (La Francophonie)

Foreign Affairs Media Relations Office
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada
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