On 23rd March, the WA Chapter of the French-Australian Chamber of Commerce & Industry (FACCI) in partnership with the City of Rockingham, held a VIP Cocktail Function in the honour of His Excellency Christophe Penot, Ambassador of France to Australia. The aim of this special event was to showcase the close relationship Western Australia has with both France and Europe, making it an ideal finish to the European Union delegation’s two day visit to Perth.
We had the pleasure of welcoming numerous European government representatives, including representatives from Portugal, Slovakia, Sweden, Hungary, the Netherlands and the Czech Republic. We also welcomed Australian government representatives including the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Water, Fisheries, Forestry, Innovation, ICT and Science: Mr Chris Tallentire MLA, representing the Premier Hon. Mark McGowan, as well as the Hon. Nick Goiran, Shadow Minister for Child Protection, Prevention of Family and Domestic Violence, representing Hon. Mike Nahan, the Leader of the Opposition.
We were delighted to have Senator Linda Reynolds and ex-Senator the Hon. David Johnston joining us and had the honour to welcome members of the European delegation, H.E Dr Igor Bartho, Ambassador of Slovakia to Australia, Mr Paul Faix, Honorary Consul in Perth of the Slovak Republic, Mr Frank Van Beuningen, Consul-General in Sydney of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, Mr Tomas Kara, Deputy Consul-General in Sydney of Czech Republic, and Mr Christophe Bories, Economic Counsellor for France to Australia.
This delegation was also composed of trade commissioners, including Mr Carlos Pacheco, Consul (Commercial)/ Trade & Investement Commissioner of the NSW Consulate-General of Portugal, Mr Pierre Defourny, Economic and Trade Policy Advisor, Delegation of the EU at the European Commission, Mr Rolph Karst, Senior Policy Office Ecopnomic Affairs and Trade at the NSW Consulate-General of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, and Mr Tamas Deutsh from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Hungary.
Four of our special guests gave speeches, with both Mr Chris Tallentire and the Hon. Nick Goiran addressing strong messages of friendship and partnership with France. Both also acknowledged the helpful role of the WA Chapter of French-Australian Chamber of Commerce, and thanked our WA Chapter President, Christine Caseris for her perseverance which has led to FACCI becoming a well-recognized institution in our state.
Ambassador H.E. Christophe Penot emphasised the importance of bilateral exchanges not only in social and cultural contexts but also in economic matters. The Ambassador highlighted how important the Team France project (French Embassy, FACCI and Business France new partnership) is in Australia and explained that the French government was ready to help and improve this project.
Our partner, the City of Rockingham, was represented by the Deputy Mayor Deb Hamblin and Mr Mark Tidman, Manager of Investment Attraction. It was a great opportunity to introduce the “Rockingham Renaissance” to our guests and to describe its benefits for Western Australia, France and the entire European Union. Deputy Mayor Hamblin’s speech highlighted the importance for the City of Rockingham to have a Memorandum of friendship with FACCI and was thrilled for the City to pre-launch the renaissance Rockingham project, which is intended to show Rockingham as an international development.
This event was a fantastic opportunity for the French-Australian community and the extended European community to gather and network together. Our guests enjoyed French elegance and excellence with a beautiful view of Elizabeth Quay at night, right in the centre of Perth CBD. We would like to offer our thanks to our partners, the City of Rockingham, and of course, special thanks to our guest of honour, Ambassador H.E Christophe Penot for making this such a memorable occasion.
(Left to Right): Ambassador H.E. Christophe Penot, Senator Linda Reynolds, Deputy Mayor Deb Hamblin, WA Chapter FACCI President Christine Caseris.
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© 2018 FRENCH AUSTRALIAN CHAMBER OF COMMERCE