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France: the privileged European economic partner of Australia

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Many personalities were present at the Schneider Electric Business forum of the Franco-Australian Commerce Chamber (FACCI) this Tuesday in Sydney. This fifth edition examined the social impact of the private sector in terms of environmental durability, diversity and inclusion.

French and Australian companies debated on topical subjects: How do the business world and the public sector contribute as agents of long-lasting change? How can they regain the confidence of the community within a context of scandal and investigation? How to respect the shareholders while also respecting the employees, suppliers, consumers, taxpayers and local communities? In a regulated world which is culturally diverse and more centred on the social, business which don’t react to change will be passed over and abandoned by their partners, their shareholders, their employees and their clients.

The quality speakers discussed these themes in the presence of the Ambassador of France in Australia, his Excellence Christophe Penot, the Director-General of Business France, Christophe Lecourtier, and a delegation from Medef International lead by its President Hervé Guillou, CEO of Naval Group.

The ambassador did not forget to highlight the work accomplished by Team France Australia. “The relationship between France and Australia has accelerated since President Macron’s visit in 2018 and the signing of the submarine contract. France and Australia have intensified their bilateral exchanges these last months. For example, France is now Australia’s 11th commercial partner.”

President of Medef, Hervé Guillou, emphasised the reasons which make Australia a land of opportunity. Today, 30 of 40 companies of CAC 40 have a presence in Australia, more than 500 French companies of all sizes employ more than 70 000 people in Australia and it is no coincidence. “Australia is a wealthy country which has been experiencing uninterrupted growth for over 20 years and which has neither deficit nor debt. A land of opportunity for French companies which can use the expertise at their disposal to respond, amongst other things, to needs in infrastructure, security or defence.”

These bilateral relations should be further solidified with a Free Trade Agreement between Europe and Australia, still at the negotiation phase. Christophe Lecourtier, Director-General of Business France underscores the variety of opportunities offered to Australian companies in France. “We have a five-year timeline which has already started to bear fruit today. Our expertise in the domains of innovation, industry, digital, clean-tech…is recognised around the world. The growth in 2018 is more important than that of Germany or Great Britain, and 2019 has heralded even better. The objective is also to become the first European country in terms of foreign investment.”

The numerous companies present agreed to confirm that the international relations between France and Australian undoubtedly have a bright future together.

After Adelaide and Sydney, the Schneider Electric Business Forum continues its tour of Australia with its next destination Brisbane (17/10), Perth (24/10) and finally Melbourne (31/10).

This page/article is also available in: Français

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