Ambassador’s Gala Celebration at the Rainier Club in Seattle
The Rainier Club, Seattle, october 17, 2011
- The Rainier Club
Monsieur le Ministre and Boeing France President Yves Galland,
M. le Consul Général, Cher Romain Serman (et Chère Madame),
Honorary Consul Jack Cowan,
Cher Alan Merkle, President of the French-American Chamber of Commerce of the Pacific Northwest,
Board Members of the Chamber,
CFM International President and CEO Jean-Paul Ebanga,
Committee Chair Norbert Gaillard,
Representatives of the French and American aerospace industry,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
It is a great pleasure and a true honor for my delegation and for me to be here with you tonight, in the prestigious Rainier Club and in this great city of Seattle.
Seattle is widely recognized in the world and certainly in my country as one of the leading cities in terms of innovation and entrepreneurship, as illustrated by the tremendous success worldwide of companies such as Boeing, Microsoft, Amazon-com, Starbucks, Expedia and many others.
In the same vein, Washington State has a well-earned reputation for developing a real vision for a sustainable and green America. France being one of the world leaders in terms of green tech and sustainable development, I believe there are many new opportunities here to strengthen our cooperation in this field.
Ladies and Gentlemen, both the United States and France are clearly the pioneering nations of aviation history. On this side of the Atlantic, the Wright brothers, and Charles Lindbergh, on our side, Henry Farman, Louis Blériot, and many others gave collectively birth to an industry which we continue to lead more than a century later.
Indeed this link has endured, as our two countries became and remain today, all French modesty put apart, the world leaders with aircraft manufactured by Airbus, Boeing and Dassault, engines built by Safran and General Electric, the avionics systems of Thales and Rockwell-Collins, as well as the aircraft equipment provided by Zodiac.
And with leadership comes interdependence: the Boeing Company spends 4 billion euros each year in France, whilst Airbus is buying more and more from the US market. That’s why our aeronautical destinies are more and more intertwined.
True enough, competition can be fierce, and the tensions which occasionally arise, tend to be widely publicized. Nevertheless, we must stick together at a time when several other nations, most notably amongst all, our friends in China, are becoming serious competitors.
Dear friends, in a broader perspective I have good news tonight : French-American relations have never been closer than today.
On the political and diplomatic front (…) – And we are working very closely together under the French chairmanship of the G20 to set a coordinated agenda for growth while reducing our respective public deficit and debt levels.
The economic partnership between our two countries is also growing every year, as illustrated by the development of crossed investment (…).
Furthermore, innovation is today number 1, number 2 and number 3 priority in my country and to give you just one example we are investing in France 50 billion dollars in two years of public and private money to promote higher education and research. This is unprecedented in my country and brings many new opportunities for the French-American partnership.
In the same vein, let me underline that entrepreneurship is booming in France (…).
Let me conclude on this positive note, and my warmest thanks to the French-American Chamber of Commerce and to each and everyone of you.
Alors, vive les Etats-Unis !
Vive la France !
Et vive l’amitié franco-américaine !