ABIE Lunch for incoming Ambassador Berne

On 21 November 2017, ABIE members and guests gathered at the historic l’Aero-Club de France for a networking aperitif in the salon Dassault, before moving through to the Salon des Members, filled to capacity for the ABIE Luncheon to welcome H.E. Ambassador Berne.  The President of ABIE France, Bernard Taraby, welcomed members and guests to the luncheon with a special welcome to Guillaume Pepy, Chairman of the France Australia Business Council of MEDEF and Chairman of national French rail company SNCF’s Executive Board.

During his address as guest of Honour, H.E. Mr Brendan Berne, Ambassador of Australia to the French Republic and Honorary President of ABIE, highlighted the strong relationship between the two countries.  He  spoke of the history of the two countries which work side by side in many arenas and how that relationship should develop over the course of the 50-year partnership to deliver the “contrat du siècle” – the Future Submarine Program.

His focus over the next three years is to build on these foundations and cement Australia’s position as a partner for France of the highest order. To achieve this his priorities include the advancement of the proposed Free Trade Agreement with the European Union, which has enormous potential to deliver win-win solutions for French and Australian businesses and open export and investment opportunities in both directions.

The Ambassador emphasised the importance of ABIE’s help and support in achieving these aims, and in particular to continue increasing the breadth and diversity of trade and investment opportunities which the Future Submarine Program and the Free Trade Agreement with the European Union can help to unlock and support.

After strong applause following his inspiring speech, the Ambassador fielded a range of questions regarding the FTA and Australian economic policy.

Members and guests enjoyed the luncheon and appreciated the opportunity to meet the Ambassador.