Joint statement of enhanced strategic partnership between Australia and France (3 March 2017)


Joint statement by Julie Bishop, Minister for Foreign Affairs, Australia, and Jean-Marc Ayrault, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development, France.

Today we have signed a Joint Statement of Enhanced Strategic Partnership between Australia and France, reflecting a new era of cooperation between our two countries.

Our nations are bound by common values and a shared vision for a secure and more prosperous future. We cooperate as friends and partners on a range of interests, including the promotion of a stable Indo-Pacific region.

Historically, our countries’ friendship was forged on the battlefields of World War I.

Security and defence cooperation has been the bedrock of our relationship for over a century. Our partnership on Australia’s Future Submarine Program represents a new era in defence cooperation and has the potential to strengthen many other areas of our bilateral relationship.

The trade and investment relationship is substantial, with two-way trade valued at $8.3 billion in 2015. Almost all of France’s largest companies are present in Australia – around 350 French companies operating in Australia, employing an estimated 80,000 people.

Our people-to-people links continue to grow, particularly in the areas of culture and education. Australia’s 100,000-strong French community makes a vibrant contribution to our nation.

This joint statement signed today sets out a plan to further build on these important links by:

  • encouraging trade, investment and business partnerships through regular business forums;
  • increasing the tempo of high-level political meetings;
  • supporting the partnership between our two countries to deliver Australia’s Submarine Program;
  • strengthening our partnership in the area of renewable energy;
  • deepening our understanding of our respective innovation and technology transfer ecosystems;
  • sharing experiences in crisis and consular management; and,
  • encouraging the development of bilingual school programs and bi-national schools in both countries.

We look forward to continuing to strengthen this important bilateral relationship.