ABIE Christmas Reception 11 December 2017

ABIE celebrated a successful and event-filled year with a Christmas reception at the Australian Ambassador’s residence on Monday the 11th December.  With the Eiffel Tower shimmering outside it was a festive occasion which drew a good attendance.

Following a long tradition, H.E. Mr Brendan Berne was invited to become ABIE’s honorary President.  In a warm acceptance speech, Ambassador Berne said he already regarded ABIE as “Australia’s extended family”, and he looked forward to a close working relationship with the Board and members in the coming year. “We need to work together”, he said, “and I seek your full support in moving forward on trade agreements.  Australia is a business partner for France.”

The Ambassador referred to the January visit to France of the Hon. Steven Ciobo, Australia’s Minister for Trade, Tourism and Industry, as significant in the light of the coming FTA negotiations, quoting French President Macron’s phrase that “This Government is a free trade business environment”.

Minister Ciobo will guest-of-honor at the first ABIE event in 2018, a business breakfast to be held in the Ambassador’s residence on Monday the 22nd January.

As Bernard Tabary, ABIE France President, indicated in his welcome remarks, 2017 has been a busy year for ABIE, the highlights including the November welcome lunch for incoming Ambassador Berne; the May ABIE corporate member reception at the Embassy following MEDEF International’s business delegation to Australia, which attracted 78 senior business figures; the well-attended Social Business event that examined the moral obligations of business; and the financial update given by ABIE’s annual sponsor, the Commonweath Bank, at the Shangri La Hotel.

The Christmas reception was also the occasion to welcome two new members to the ABIE board, who were elected at the AGM preceding the reception:  ANZ Bank CEO Jean Barbizet, and Jeremy Durack, Secretary General of Sotheby’s France.  Jeremy Durack was one of ABIE’s original founder board member 30 years ago!

Bernard Tabary concluded by wishing all a happy festive season.