Francophonie Forum in Vienna: A Bridge Between Culture, Business and Sport

More+Events ♦ Published: March 21, 2024; 18:54 ♦ (Vindobona)

An event took place in Vienna that underlined the cultural and economic importance of the Francophonie. The Austrian Federal Economic Chamber (WKÖ), in close cooperation with the French Embassy in Austria and the French-Austrian Chamber of Commerce (CCFA), organized the forum "L'industrie du sport parle français" ("The sports industry speaks French").

The second Austrian Business Forum on Francophonie highlighted the link between business, Francophonie, and the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games in Paris. / Picture: © Marko Kovic / WKÖ Aussenwirtschaft

This event, dedicated to the International Day of La Francophonie, attracted a wide audience and provided a platform for dialog on the multiple links between the French language, business, and sport.

The forum kicked off with an inspiring opening speech by Amelie Gross, Vice President of the Austrian Chamber of Commerce. Gross highlighted the symbiotic relationship between business, the Francophonie, and the upcoming Olympic and Paralympic Games in Paris, setting the tone for an event that emphasized the added value of the French language in various sectors. In his speech, Frédéric Joureau, First Counsellor of the French Embassy, emphasized the role of sport as a driving force for economic growth and social development and thanked the many partners for their support of the Francophonie.

One of the highlights of the forum was the contribution by Christian H. Schierer from the marketing department of AUSSENWIRTSCHAFT AUSTRIA, who emphasized the importance of the Francophonie for the Austrian economy. Through his presentation in French, he highlighted language as the key to international business success. Guy Gweth, Director of the African Center for Competitive Intelligence, complemented this perspective with his remarks on the importance of business intelligence and competitiveness in francophone countries.

The subsequent panel discussion, chaired by Céline Garaudy, Director General of the CCFA, focused on the sports industry. The discussion with representatives from leading companies such as Feratel Media Technologies, MED-EL Medical Electronics, Decathlon Austria, Ayaq, and SKIDATA highlighted the many ways in which the French language and culture are shaping the international sports world.

Another significant moment was the outlook on bilateral economic relations by Bruno Lanternier, Director of Business France in Austria and Slovenia, who emphasized the ongoing and future partnerships between France and Austria. The panel "Olympia is calling: bonjour Paris!" brought together different perspectives, from representatives of the Austrian Olympic and Paralympic Committee to athletes, and illustrated the importance of the French language and culture in the context of the Olympic Games.

The forum ended with an innovative networking session in the form of speed dating, organized by Agnes Chanut, President of Le Cercle Vienna. This session aimed to strengthen the connection between job seekers and the HR departments of companies and offered a unique opportunity for personal exchange and networking.

In summary, the forum "L'industrie du sport parle français" was an impressive example of the importance of the Francophonie as a catalyst for cultural exchange, economic cooperation, and sporting excellence. It served as a lively platform for discussion, networking, and the celebration of the French language and culture. Looking ahead to the upcoming Francophonie Summit and the Olympic Games in Paris, the importance of the Francophonie continues to be highlighted as an influential factor on the international stage.

French Embassy in Vienna

French Institute of Austria