UK-France Business Forum 2nd Edition

On 7th February 2023, the 2nd edition of the Forum brought together business leaders, policy specialists, and industry experts to address key issues facing the Franco-British business community. Through extensive research, consultation, and engagement with stakeholders, the Forum's working groups developed practical and actionable recommendations that aim to support growth, innovation, and job creation on both sides of the Channel.

During the launch of the UK-France Business Forum, a series of discussion themes were found to be a particular interest for Franco-British collaboration.

Following the first Forum, the participants were divided into three apolitacal working groups tasked with identifying how promoting cross-border partnerships and investment can be used to accelerate clean growth on both sides of the Channel:

  • The Mobility sub-group, chaired by Rupert Reece, Managing Director at Gide Loyrette Nouel LLP.
    The group findings highlighted the impact of the new legal framework on the members' ability to move workers across the Channel. Participants recommended the introduction of a digital border to reduce friction at the border.

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  • The Technology and Innovation sub-group, chaired by Raph Crouan, president of La French Tech.
    This group  emphasized the potential for collaboration between France and the UK in the field of technology and innovation. Participants highlighted the need for fostering cooperation between the two countries by bringing together stakeholders from both sides of the Channel.

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  • The Clean Growth sub-group initially chaired by Alice Williams, formerly Vice-President of Strategy at Schneider Electric, and subsequently chaired by Geoff Skingsley, Deputy President of the French Chamber in Great Britain and Chair of L’Oreal UK.
    This group noted the importance of climate action for both France and the UK’s economic prospects. Participants identified ample opportunities for greater collaboration in the transition towards renewable energy and a circular economy.

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The Forum's working groups are committed to making a tangible impact on the Franco-British business environment by providing practical solutions to the challenges facing both economies. Through collaboration and collective action, we can create a more favourable business environment that supports growth, innovation, and job creation for years to come.

Next Steps

The UK-France Business Forum will continue to meet on a bi-annual basis, alternating between Paris and London. The aim is to reconvene the third edition of the Forum in June/July of 2023.

The Forum discussions concluded that the chairs of the working groups should meet to define the next steps for the third edition. The agenda of the next Forum will be based on the outcomes of the UK-France Summit which will take place on March 10th.


The bilateral Chambers of Commerce – the French Chamber of Commerce in Great Britain and the Franco-British Chamber of Commerce and Industry – launched the new UK-France Business Forum in Paris on Wednesday 6th July in Paris. The Business Forum is chaired by the Presidents of the bilateral chambers, Fabienne Viala and Thierry Drilhon.

The Forum is built on a joint commitment by the bilateral chambers to strengthen business relationships and increase the potential for more business opportunities. It formally recognises the strength of the economic relationship between the UK and France and aims to enhance business-to-business dialogue and foster commercial opportunities on both sides of the Channel.

The 2nd edition of the Forum was hosted by HE Hélène Duchêne, French Ambassador to the UK and gathered 23 business leaders from major French and UK companies. Alongside business leaders, the Business Forum included representation by Theo Rycroft, Minister and Deputy Head of Mission at the British Embassy in Paris, Anne-Laure Chelius and Mélisande Roche from Business France, as well as Sean McGuire from the Confederation of British Industry (CBI), Anne-Marie Martin from British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), Dorothée Pineau from the Mouvement des Entreprises de France (MEDEF) and Olivier Morel, President of Conseillers du Commerce Exterieur de la France (CCE).

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