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An agreement has been signed between “Team France”, an informal institution gathering public and private French institutions in Australia, and South Australia to strengthen relationships across all sectors in the context of the decades-long submarines project.
The memorandum of understanding was signed by the French Ambassador to Australia His Excellency Christophe Lecourtier and Premier Jay Weatherill on Friday (25 November). It aims to facilitate stronger economic ties but also cooperation in education, research tourism and the arts.
Ambassador Lecourtier said the agreement would help French and South Australians institutions work together to create the most appropriate “landing pad” for the expected influx of French companies surrounding the project to build 12 submarines in South Australia.
“We have created what we call Team France, an informal institution gathering all French organisations supporting our economic presence in Australia, to create more visibility and efficiency,” Ambassador Lecourtier said of the team that includes the Embassy of France, Business France, the French Australian Chamber of Commerce, French Foreign Trade Advisors in Australia, and the Honorary Consul of France in Adelaide, Susan Crafter.
“We are in a way, working together with Team South Australia to create a kind of landing pad – the appropriate tarmac – for all these actors that are willing to come.”
The Ambassador said the relationship went far beyond the submarine project won by French shipbuilder DCNS and extended to a “much broader and deeper relationship in many, many fields”.
“Of course it has to do with sharing technologies and bringing more French companies to Australia that might become suppliers of DCNS for the contract but it also means reinforcing relationships with science, universities, everything that has to do with innovation,” Ambassador Lecourtier said.
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