Queensland lunch hosted by Linda Apelt, Agent General and Queensland Trade and Investment Commissioner – Europe

It was to have been an occasion for Queensland Premier, the Hon. Annastacia Palaszczuk MP, to meet with business leaders in France, including ABIE Corporate members, at a lunch held on Thursday, 12  September at the Park Hyatt Hotel.

Unfortunately, the Premier had to cut her visit short to oversee disaster operations following the terrible fires that have devastated coastal areas and parts Queensland.

Stepping up to the Paris podium to welcome guests, Queensland’s Agent General, Linda Apelt, gave an interesting update on the state’s economy and opportunities there for French companies.

She commented that French businesses already feature prominently in the investment and development of some of Queensland’s key infrastructure and industries, as well as emerging growth industries including defence, aerospace, renewable energy, biofuels and biotechnology and advanced manufacturing.

Linda Apelt then introduced the state’s Chief Entrepreneur, Leanne Kemp, the first woman in Queensland to hold this title.

A pioneer of blockchain technology with her company Everledger, the ebullient Leanne Kemp is already known to ABIE members from a stimulating March event organised with the OECD at which she was keynote speaker.

She is the winner of 40 awards for innovation, including being named one of the World’s 26 Coolest CEOs.

“That’s the one I’m most proud of”, she laughed.

A committed environmentalist, Ms Kemp is eyeing a new startup. She says she already has the name: “It’s a green movement I’m calling Qleensland.  No, that’s not a spelling error.  It’s pronounced Cleansland, and our aim to make our great State exactly that. Clean.”

In his closing remarks, Angus Mackenzie, Deputy Head of Mission to France at the Australian Embassy and Australian Ambassador to UNESCO, said this is a vital time in French-Australian relationships.

He noted that one million Australians visit France every year, and that 20,000 working visas for young French people were issued last year.

Among the Queensland delegation was Member for Parliament Milton Dick, who was in Paris to meet with the Organising Committee for the Paris 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games as part of a project looking into the feasibility of a potential Queensland bid.  “We’re looking towards the 2032 Games,” he said.  “However, at this stage we are just considering a bid.”

In her remarks, Linda Apelt warmly thanked ABIE France for its support and assistance with its visit to France.

She added that the Queensland delegation enjoyed the ABIE Rentrée Dinner on 11 September, and was delighted that ABIE France President Bernand Tabary and ABIE Netherlands President, Jennifer Tucker, together with several ABIE France Board and other members, were able to attend the lunch.

For more information about ABIE France events, click here.