10 July 2018

Flying the flag for Australia in France

HSBC hosted an important Australian government and business delegation in Paris in July 2018, just as negotiations ramp up for the EU-Australia FTA.

HSBC’s James Emmett (l), Governor General Cosgrove (m) and French Minister Lemoyne (r) Photo: Gaël Dupret

On Monday 1 July, HSBC hosted a special luncheon to celebrate the growing prominence of Australia’s trade and investment relationship with France and Europe.

In HSBC’s Paris head office on the Champs-Élysées, HSBC Europe CEO, James Emmett, and HSBC France investment bank Chairman, Philippe Pontet, welcomed an Australian government and business delegation, Australian Governor General His Excellency Peter Cosgrove, Federal Government Minister Dr John McVeigh, and representatives of the French government, including Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne, Secretary of State to the Minister of Europe and Foreign Affairs.

The delegation, organised on an annual basis by the Europe-Australia Business Council (EABC), visited several European cities in order to highlight the numerous opportunities that are likely to flow from a free trade agreement now under negotiation between Australia and the European Union.

EU-Australia FTA: The EU is Australia's second largest trading partner, third largest export destination and largest source of foreign investment. The FTA now under negotiation between Australia and Europe has the potential to further increase bilateral flows of goods, services and capital. In terms of economic benefit, the EU’s initial scoping has suggested this agreement could add €4.9 billion to the bloc’s total GDP in the long term.

French and Australian government perspectives

The France-Australia relationship is an important axis for both countries’ international trade and diplomacy efforts. In early May, French President Emmanuel Macron visited Australia and issued a joint vision statement with Australian Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull reaffirming shared values and commitments.

During the EABC luncheon, Secretary of State Lemoyne welcomed France’s deepening relationship with Australia and highlighted the four pillars of France’s reform agenda, including liberalising the labour market, investing in future levers of growth, providing safeguards to citizens to mitigate the effects of free trade and promoting the financial industry.

Governor General Cosgrove and Dr John McVeigh, Australia’s Minister for Regional Development, Territories and Local Government, recalled the historical ties and common values that have united the two countries and emphasised the Australian government’s ambitions to develop a thriving commercial corridor with Europe and France.

Similarly, in his welcome, James Emmett, CEO of HSBC Europe, highlighted that Europe is an integral part of HSBC's international promise and France, which is HSBC’s Continental European hub, is a key player in the connectivity of HSBC’s global network.

According to James, recent deals in retail, advertising, tourism and defence will drive significant growth in France-Australia trade and investment in the coming years.

Did you know? HSBC in Europe, France and Australia

1. HSBC is the largest bank in Europe (by market capitalisation), helping 6,500 multinational clients across 34 markets (19 with a physical presence) including France, the UK, Germany, Spain and Italy.

2. Our French business is our biggest on the continent, employing around 10,000 colleagues across a network of 380 branches, providing a full range of banking and financial services to individuals, businesses and institutions.

3. HSBC is the leading universal international bank in Australia with 2,000 employees working across 44 branches and offices. In 2017, we embarked on a three-year investment plan to significantly grow our footprint, market share and revenues by the end of 2019.