Patrick Heck, Ministry of Foreign and European AffairsText by Patrick Heck, Minister Plenipotentiary, Ambassador for economic diplomacy

In the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs is the government department responsible for the country’s diplomacy, bilateral and multilateral relations affairs. As a Member State of the European Union and an active member of the international community, Luxembourg conducts its foreign policy with a view to securing its national interests and endeavours in the overarching objective of contributing to international peace, security and prosperity. It is our mission to safeguard Luxembourg’s security, defence and welfare by promoting our national interests in Europe and in the world through the planning and implementing of our nation’s foreign policy and co-ordinating its foreign relations.

Peace, security, development

Among the priorities of our foreign policy are:

  • support and promote actions for peace, security and development,
  • strengthen European integration,
  • work in favour of an effective multilateralism which ensures sustainable development in the world, diversity as well as the respect for norms, laws and institutions,
  • promote our ideas and our culture in international relations,
  • promote Luxembourg businesses abroad in foreign markets and attract investors to Luxembourg’s innovative economy,
  • provide administrative services for our nationals living or visiting abroad.

As such, a very concrete illustration of our continued commitment to the maintenance of international peace and security is our election to the United Nations Human Rights Council, for the 2022-2024 mandate. After its successful term as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council from 2013 to 2014, Luxembourg wants to continue to assume its responsibilities in the multilateral context and wishes to put its commitment as a full member of the Human Rights Council at the service of the protection of the rights of all human beings. Our priorities for the three years of the mandate in the Council include women and children’s rights, the rule of law and climate action.

International relationships are more critical than ever to sustain economic growth.

As the economy has become a truly global economy, international relationships are more critical than ever to sustain economic growth. Diplomatic tools and resources can naturally sustain these relationships. With the growing needs of trade relationships and the necessary attraction of investment, economic diplomacy plays an important role in the daily activities of diplomatic missions.

As an integral partner in the national “Trade and Invest” strategy, the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs and its global diplomatic network endeavour to actively contribute to its development and implementation, in the interest of Luxembourg.

International economic relations

Our global diplomatic network is well versed in international economic relations. Our diplomatic and consular missions abroad advise Luxembourg companies and if necessary help them establish contacts. They support companies in dealing with government agencies to which they have particularly good access given their function. They help them to improve market access, to find commercial partners or to develop partnerships with local governments.

Each mission has one point of contact for economic affairs. Many embassies may also have staff from other government ministries or agencies who can bring their knowledge to bear in fields such as the economy, finance and culture.

Each mission has one point of contact for economic affairs.

Our career diplomats – men and women – are experienced negotiators and experts in fields spanning from global trade rules, international economic standards and norms, export control regulations to individual personalised business-to business promotion and marketing contacts. As specialists in law, political science, international relations or economic affairs, diplomats are trained to quickly gain key insights on various subjects. With this versatility, they can help you identify business opportunities, partners or government interlocutors in Luxembourg. Companies wishing to establish a presence in Luxembourg can draw on our diplomatic skills. We can help develop relationships, identify partners and interlocutors, public and private. Diplomatic abilities include situational and emotional intelligence in understanding needs, discretion and confidentiality. We are fully committed to assisting you in expanding your activities, developing relationships and identifying public and private partners.

Companies may approach the missions directly with their request for assistance.

Your first point of entry to Luxembourg

Our well-developed network of embassies, general consulates and permanent representations (40), honorary consuls (161) and foreign trade advisors (14) is present in over 70 countries, with more diplomatic offices to open in the future. We are available to foreign and domestic entrepreneurs and can help set up contacts and meetings with senior decision makers in Luxembourg has an additional diplomatic presence through 57 co-accreditations of its embassies, including 15 with United Nations and other international agencies and organisations.

The opening of new embassies in India, Turkey, Brazil and Senegal over the past 15 years has contributed to a strengthened global presence. The many co-accreditations as well as the accreditation of non-resident ambassadors based in Luxembourg add to the general international diplomatic footprint.

Nine Luxembourg Trade and Investment Offices (LTIOs) and seventeen Foreign Trade Advisors are, under the guidance of the Ministry of the Economy, developing knowledge of local markets, identifying potential investors and supporting companies in foreign markets. In cooperation with the Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce, Economic and Trade Attachés are posted at Luxembourg’s embassies in Brussels, Berlin, London and Paris. Support networks such as bilateral Chambers of Commerce, ‘task forces’ or business clubs are developed locally, with the collaboration of embassies and consulates general. More such trade and invest functions will be developed abroad in the coming years.

As the target audiences and demands stemming from local communities are very diverse, it is quite difficult to generalise the qualifications and mandate of the honorary consuls. The majority of honorary consuls depend on the Luxembourg embassies for advice regarding their mission and dissemination of information about Luxembourg, but around 25 of them – mostly in Latin America, Africa and the Middle East – are working directly with the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs.

Available for all

The structure of Luxembourg’s international network, which includes both diplomatic and consular missions as well as Trade and Investment Offices, is thus quite diverse. Regardless of their status, all members of the network are available for foreign and Luxembourg actors and cooperate directly with different Ministries and institutions in Luxembourg.