Annual symposium to boost Australia-France defence industry relations

Australia and France will establish an annual Australia-France Defence Industry Symposium as part of the strategy to enhance defence ties between the two nation.

The announcement of the annual symposium came during French President Emmanuel Macron’s visit to Australia where he met with Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and other Cabinet members.

Minister for Defence Industry, Christopher Pyne will co-chair the symposium with his French counterpart, Minister Florence Parly.

“The Australia-France Defence Industry Symposium will focus on identifying further opportunities to deepen our defence industry and capability cooperation for the benefit of both nations,” Minister Pyne said.

Australia and France have been working to extend collaborations on defence projects after France’s Naval Group secured a $50 billion contract to deliver 12 submarines to the Australian government, as part of the Australian navy’s Future Submarine Program.

“Through this Program, France’s Naval Group will partner with Australian industry to deliver a fleet of 12 regionally superior submarines, creating an annual average of around 2,800 jobs,” Minister Pyne said.

Naval Group Australia has partnered with South Australian engineering company, KBR, to develop the concept design for the proposed Future Submarine (SEA1000) construction yard at the Osborne Naval Shipbuilding precinct in South Australia.

In February, Australian electronics specialist company Thomas Global and France’s aerospace engineering company, Safran Group, signed an agreement  to manufacture and maintain defence equipment in Australia.

The symposium was announced as part of the Australia-France Initiative (AFiniti) signed by Prime Minister Turnbull and President Macron.

AFiniti will strengthen collaboration on emerging priorities and usher in a new era of Australia-France cooperation.