A networking event held last week to mark the reinvigoration of business relationships between South Australia and France attracted about 50 people.
It was the first major public event for the South Australian branch of the French Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FACCI) and was hosted by patron member, Investment Attraction South Australia.
FACCI South Australia membership has surged since the announcement earlier this year that French firm, DCNS, had won the $50 billion Future Submarines contract, with the vessels to be built in Adelaide.
There are now 30 corporate members of the branch, with a range of small, medium and large French and Australian businesses across diverse industries. It includes major French firms DCNS, Schneider Electric and Pernod Ricard Winemakers, which supplied the wine for the event.
Investment and Trade Minister Martin Hamilton-Smith addressed the gathering and said that France and South Australia had much in common, including a shared transition from traditional to new economies.
“We have so much to learn from France about the way it has embraced new technology and innovation,” he said.
Mr Hamilton-Smith said the Future Submarines Project would form the foundation for ongoing business partnerships between South Australia and France for decades to come.
He said Investment Attraction South Australia was a key player in South Australia’s French Engagement Strategy, which included developing business relationships and opportunities through organisations such as FACCI.
FACCI South Australia President Mr Chris Sharpley said the chamber’s mission was to foster economic and commercial relationships between Australia and France. This included helping French companies to set up here and introducing local businesses to French companies and agencies.
He said the state branch had made contact with chambers of commerce and industry in Paris and in Cherbourg, home of the DCNS submarine shipyard, to help identify which French companies were interested in working in South Australia.
Mr Sharpley said FACCI had more than 600 national members and held about 100 events.
“Our 20 state council members for South Australia are united by a passion to foster French-Australian business relationships,” he said.
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