ABIE Farewell to Ambassador Brady

IMG_1461It was with warm words of appreciation that Ambassador Stephen Brady said adieu to the members of the ABIE board on September 12, describing ABIE as a “pillar of what the Australian French relationship is all about”.

He praised ABIE’s dedication to forging ties between France and Australia, saying the organisation would become increasingly important as more trade deals developed.  “If you didn’t exist”, he quipped, “we’d have to invent you”.

Appointed to Paris in March 2015, Ambassador Brady is returning to Canberra.  The future ambassador is former Reserve Bank economist Brendan Berne, who before his appointment was Chief of Staff for the Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment.

Ambassador Brady said that the $A50 billion submarine contract between France and Australia had allowed other aspects of the French Australian relationship to blossom.

“France has become a place where we can really do business”, said the Ambassador, citing the 60 high level visits to France during his tenure.  “I can see this relationship after Brexit becoming our most important in Europe.  We’ve come together in ways we didn’t expect.  Now we must maintain this corporate memory.”

There are more than 500 French companies operating in Australia, employing more than 60,000 people and with an investment valued at $28.3 billion.