Business SA: Our multi-generational relationship with France will create an abundance of opportunities

WHEN you deal with very large numbers in the abstract, it often feels unreal.

Fifty billion dollars worth of French designed submarines, hundreds of millions of dollars in new infrastructure, thousands of jobs, over a hundred French families moving across the world to Adelaide, and decades of guaranteed work for generations of South Australians doesn’t yet feel tangible to much of our community.

The backbone of the SA economy is small to medium sized enterprises and small employers (SMEs). These opportunities seem particularly unreal to those SMEs which can see all of this as being reserved for the “big end of town” and the multinationals.

It would be a tragedy to resign yourself to that view.

Real opportunities are already beginning to appear in areas like retail, tourism, culture, the arts and education.

And the green shoots of SME opportunities are encouraging. The Adelaide CBD’s new French Quarter around Gresham St will be a boon to restaurants and retailers alike who are visionary enough to get on board early. Those like La Buvette and Mississippi Moon.

Education is one of our biggest export earners and we just opened up a new frontier of opportunity which is being seized by progressive schools like Highgate School and Unley High School creating a full French curriculum.

media_cameraC’EST BONNE: Business SA chief executive Nigel McBride. Picture: Tricia Watkinson.

What’s also commendable is how those schools are collaborating to achieve better outcomes together than they could apart.

These are just the very beginning of SME opportunities that are going to grow from this long-term relationship with France, French companies, French families and French visitors.

And we are going to see things start to happen that we haven’t seen before in SA.

For example, today, for the first time in Adelaide, the French Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry is running a sold out national business forum: Australia 2030 — A Role Model for a Sustainable World…

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