A new global business network for French speakers

La Défense district, Paris (Photo: Ruben Christen for Unsplash)

Francophone employers’ associations around the world, including the Conseil du patronat du Québec (CPQ), are joining forces to create the Alliance des patronats francophones (APF), which brings together 26 countries on four continents.

The president of the CPQ, Karl Blackburn, and his employer counterparts made the announcement on Tuesday in Tunisia, one of the member countries of this new business network. Geoffroy Roux de Bézieux, president of the Mouvement des entreprises de France (MEDEF), will be the first president of the APF, for a two-year term.

The organization brings together states such as France, Belgium, Switzerland, Morocco, Senegal, Lebanon, Cambodia, Laos and Quebec — whose CPQ will represent French-speaking business people throughout the country. ‘North America.

“We want to demonstrate that doing business in French is possible (…) You have to be able to project yourself around the world, and we are far from being alone!”, underlines Karl Blackburn, who will occupy one of the 9 positions of vice-presidents, in addition to being the treasurer of the APF.

We often forget that French is the third business language in the world after English and Mandarin, according to APF data. In addition, 20% of trade in the world is between French-speaking countries, and the economic Francophonie accounts for 16.5% of global gross income.

The Alliance will attempt to accelerate business relations between Francophone businesses around the world.

It will also coordinate the French-speaking action of the most representative economic organizations of each of the member countries of the APF, in addition to establishing shared diagnoses and proposing common and concrete proposals.

Easier to recruit labor

The CPQ will be responsible for the working group on manpower training. It will therefore have to tackle the issues of recognition of prior learning, define a training model adapted to the needs of Francophone economies and promote student mobility.

“The Alliance will be able, for example, to help Quebec companies to recruit personnel abroad,” explains Karl Blackburn.

The new Paris-based body will have an annual operating budget of 500,000 euros (CA$688,190), which is set to increase, not to mention a website that will be launched shortly.

The creation of the Alliance comes six months after the holding of the first Meeting of Francophone Entrepreneurs (REF) and the Paris Declaration, in August 2021. This new organization is therefore intended to be the embodiment of a desire to build an economic Francophonie. around businesses.

The next meeting of the APF will take place in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, in October 2022, for the holding of the Francophonie Summit. Karl Blackburn would like the meeting to take place in Quebec in 2023.

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