ABIE Rentrée Dinner 2016

President of ABIE France and CEO of Keolis International, Bernard Taraby, H.E. Mr Stephen Brady, AO CVO, Ambassador of Australia to the French Republic and Honorary President of ABIE and AXA Corporate Solutions, Head of International Network, Yves de Mestier

President of ABIE France and CEO of Keolis International, Bernard Tabary, H.E. Mr Stephen Brady, AO CVO, Ambassador of Australia to the French Republic and Honorary President of ABIE and AXA Corporate Solutions, Head of International Network, Yves de Mestier

On an uncharacteristically warm September evening in Paris, guests were welcomed with an aperitif on the terrace of the historic l’Aero-Club de France which was filled to capacity for the 2016 ABIE France Rentrée Dinner.

The President of ABIE France, Bernard Taraby, welcomed members and guests to the annual end-of-summer dinner, warmly thanking Yves de Mestier, for the generous sponsorship provided by AXA Corporate Solutions, a member of the Corporate Club. During his address as guest of Honour,  H.E. Mr Stephen Brady, AO CVO, Ambassador of Australia to the French Republic and Honorary President of ABIE, reviewed the relationship between Australia and France. He highlighted the special history between the two nations  referring to the “50 year marriage”, a phrase used recently during the announcement of the DCNS Submarine contract.  He also mentioned some interestingfigures often overlooked in the light of such a large trade deal, such as the fact that over 200 000 French nationals have participated in the Australian Holiday Work visa scheme, and that approximately 700 000 Australians visit France each year.

After strong applause following his interesting speech, the Ambassador fielded a range of questions regarding COP 21, Brexit and an Australian Free-trade agreement with European countries.  Not forgetting culture, he also mentioned that the National Gallery of Australia will be hosting treasures from the Palace of Versailles later this year, exhibiting over 130 objects from a mesmerising period in French history.

All in all it was a wonderful evening at which members were able to reconnect after the summer and to new members were introduced to the business network.