Reception for SAFRAN USA
Residence of France, October 11, 2012
Cher Bruno Cotté,
Chers Bernard Teychené, Peter Lengyel, Jean-Paul Ebanga, Françoise Descheemaeker,
Honored guests from the U.S. government and the industry,
It is a great pleasure for me to welcome you all to our Residence, on the occasion of the Safran Synergy Strategy Session – what you call the S4, if I am not mistaken.
I would particularly like to pay tribute to Safran Executive Vice President Bruno Cotté, and dedicate this event to him. Bruno and I have known each other for many years, and I consider him a friend.
Mon cher Bruno, you are a consummate professional, a strong leader and visionary, and an exceptional individual. Your knowledge of the world and its players is unique and truly impressive, which makes you a source of inspiration and admiration for us diplomats too. You have a rare capacity to absorb all the factors that go into a decision, from the most technical to the most political, and explain them in a very clear and convincing way, with your unparalleled professionalism, that is your trademark.
After a remarkable career from every standpoint, you placed your talent at the service of Safran, and we all know this has something to do with the group’s superb performance. Indeed, Safran is a global player that is universally acknowledged as such, one of the jewels in the crown of French industry.
It is a great success story in the U.S., one that continues to expand. It’s something I’ve a chance to observe literally each day, and again as recently as yesterday in Seattle. You know that you can count on me, and on the entire staff of the Embassy and our consulates, to support you on this winning path.
Safran offers an unblemished image of professionalism, technological innovation and industrial robustness. It also boasts a particular mindset, a sense of teamwork that has always struck me. Cher Bruno, for that I warmly congratulate you, and I want to extend my congratulations to Safran CEOs and senior executives who are here this evening and to Safran’s outstanding team in the United States, beginning with its President and CEO, Peter Lengyel, and many others whom I’m happy to see again, such as Jean-Paul Ebanga, President and CEO of CFM International – your incredibly successful joint venture with GE is a very good illustration of what the best of our two countries can achieve together.
I also want to extend a special welcome this evening to Françoise Descheemaecker, Senior Vice President for Corporate Patronage and President of the Safran Foundations. We owe Françoise so much, and I want to offer her my warmest thanks – and to you too, Bruno, Peter, Michelle and Allison and your team – for Safran’s exemplary partnership with the Embassy. Since 2011, Safran has been the major sponsor of the annual concert series presented by the French Embassy in Washington and helped make it a magnificent success.
This program includes nearly 20 concerts a year and is one of the flagship events of the Embassy, whose various public programs attract more than 60,000 people annually. This series receives wide press coverage and helps foster close partnerships with such prestigious institutions as the Library of Congress and the National Gallery of Art. Many of these concerts are in fact broadcast on the radio – some by as many as one million listeners for each broadcast on SiriusXM and NPR for example.
And Safran’s support is enabling us to do something we’ve always wanted : to visit college campuses with French artists who offer master classes and concerts.
I sincerely hope to see this exemplary partnership between Safran and the Embassy expand even further.
As far as the overall context is concerned, French-American relations have never been closer than they are today, as illustrated by President Hollande’s very successful visit to the United States last May, literally three days after his inauguration.
It’s true on the diplomatic front (fight against terrorism, Iran, Syria etc).
It’s also true on the economic front (…). And Safran is a striking example of what our two countries can do together./.