The Wales France Business Forum – colloquially known as Le Club - is the Franco-Welsh networking business forum.
Le Club’s purpose is to stimulate networking, partnership development and trading opportunities between organisations with both Welsh and French links – whether these links are through their business operations or through their people.
It is a not-for-profit business club, and is open to anyone with existing or ambitions to grow Franco-Wales business relations.
Founders of Le Club are its Chair, Céline Jones, Solicitor, Head of the French Desk at Geldards LLP and Avocat Conseil auprès du Consulat Général et de l’Ambassade de France à Londres, and Dan Langford, Group Marketing Director at leading recruitment firm Acorn.
Le Club was launched at the British Embassy in Paris at a reception hosted by the British Ambassador to France, Lord Llewellyn and the Secretary of State for Wales, Rt Hon Alun Cairns MP.
Le Club has received invaluable support from its Founding Partners Geldards LLP, Acorn Recruitment, and both the UK and Welsh Governments – along with generous sponsorship from leading French companies Keolis and Bouygues.
Keolis is one of the world leaders in shared mobility and was part of the successful JV (with Amey) that was awarded the £5bn contract, the largest ever awarded in Wales, to run the Transport for Wales rail and metro franchise.
Bouygues Group operates in over 100 countries spanning construction, civil works, energy, services, telecommunications and media. Bouygues UK, which is very active in Wales, delivers award-winning construction, development and regeneration projects across public and private sectors.
Le Club organises a series of events for our members to network and nurture Franco-Wales business relations.
Through our events and communications activity, Le Club will become a central source of information and contacts for all organisations with Franco-Wales business interests - facilitating new connections, sign-posting to support services and working closely with all three governments and their offices in Wales, the UK and France.
Launch of Le Club
Le Club will officially be launched on 22 February 2019 at the British Embassy in Paris, at a reception hosted by the British Ambassador to France, Lord Llewellyn and the Secretary of State for Wales, Rt Hon Alun Cairns MP.
Inaugural Members Evening
In the spring 2019, Le Club will host its first Welsh event. Together with our special guest, Le Club Founders will introduce Le Club to its new members, open up discussion about its future activities, and invite members to participate / engage in helping to take Le Club forward.
Further events, with invited speakers are scheduled for summer and autumn 2019 – details to follow.
Membership / Getting Involved
Membership of Le Club is open to any person or organisation with existing or ambitions to grow Franco-Wales business / trading relations.
We need your support
The activities of Le Club are only possible through the generous support of our sponsors. If you or your organisation is interested in being involved and / or supporting future events we would be delighted to hear from you.
A trading relationship
France and Wales already have a thriving trading relationship, for which the Welsh, UK and French governments do an immeasurable amount of work to develop and nurture.
Le Club wishes to support these efforts and facilitate the development of new connections between French-Welsh businesses.
In the year ending June 2018, France was the second largest export market for Welsh products, with £2.7bn worth of Welsh products reaching the French market. Equally, France exported £0.8bn worth of French products to Wales that year.
The nature of trade between the two countries is varied and includes transport, medical and pharmaceutical, automotive, iron and steel, electronics, food and drink, and a wide range of services.
The extent of the importance of the relationship between the two countries was perhaps best demonstrated in May 2018, when the biggest contract ever awarded in Wales, worth £5bn, to run the rail franchise and deliver the next phase of the South Wales Metro, was awarded to a joint venture of French transport giant Keolis and leading infrastructure management consultancy Amey.
As the trading relationship between the UK and Europe changes in a post-Brexit world, developing the mutual understanding and collaboration between Wales and France becomes ever more critical.