For the second year running, Australia welcomed a visiting French minister. Jean-Marc Ayrault, the French Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development, spent three days in Australia with a delegation of companies, in order to sign a global cooperation agreement with The Hon. Julie Bishop.
Organised by MEDEF (‘Mouvement des entreprises de France’), the largest entrepreneur network in France, the delegation was led by Guillaume Pepy, Chairman of the France Australia Business Council of MEDEF and Chairman of national French rail company SNCF’s Executive Board, and Ross McInnes, Special representative to the Minister for Australia and Chairman of the Board of Safran.
MEDEF has more than 750,000 member companies and conducts an ongoing lobbying effort with all local, regional, national and European decision-makers to draw attention to company perspective.
They accompanied 35 high-level executives representing major French companies. Three key sectors were represented:
1. Infrastructure, Transport, Defence and Construction
2. Energy, Sustainable Energy, Water and Waste treatment
3. Services: Banks, IT
The delegation visited Melbourne on Friday 3 March to meet with the Victorian State Government at International Chamber House where they were warmly welcomed by Justin Hanney, Lead Deputy Secretary at the Department of Economic Development.
Several important topics were addressed, including:
· Victoria's priority industry sectors
· Victoria's Public Private Partnerships
· Free Trade Agreements Australia-Europe and Australia-Asia
· Melbourne Metro Rail Project
Friday morning saw Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault and the MEDEF delegation visiting Yarra Trams’ new control centre and where Michael Masson, CEO Infrastructure Victoria gave a presentation about this major project.
The MEDEF delegation highlights the growing interest of French companies in Australia, as economic ties continue to strengthen between the two countries.
For photos of the MEDEF visit to Melbourne, click here.
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