Michel de Fabiani, the Vice President of the Franco-British Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said the UK’s exit from the European bloc has presented opportunities for both countries.
Speaking to The Deal, the former CEO of BP Europe said Britain could use the opportunity to boost trade links with French-speaking countries around the world.
He said: “You could say that maybe French companies will be more attracted if London becomes the centre for the Commonwealth relationship and US relationship with UK – there might be an attraction for that.
“On the other hand, UK companies who want to deal with North Africa or Francophone Africa or Francophone areas would invest in France to get this entry gate for Francophone countries.
Michel de Fabiani said British and French businesses could come to a beneficial arrangement
You cannot have a totally wild globalisation, this is what people are worried about
Michel de Fabiani
“So in the long run maybe a new possibility which was not really considered until now.”
Mr de Fabiani said he thought Britain’s relationship with the Commonwealth and the US would “remain strong” after Brexit.
He said: “I think the situation is, do you think as a company ‘do you think that the UK is still a good base for investment?’ taking into account what I call the hinterland of London and of UK… which is the former Commonwealth countries and the US because we know their relationship is strong and will remain strong.”
In pictures: Theresa May meets with EU's Tusk Thu, April 6, 2017
The two leaders held talks on Brexit negotiations
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European Council President Donald Tusk gestures to members of the media as he leaves 10 Downing street after talks with British Prime Minister Theresa May in central London
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The commerce chief said the UK's relationship with America would 'remain strong' after Brexit
The businessman then put anti-globalisation sentiment around the world down to a failure of the system itself and a failure of governments to explain it to people.
He said: “I think it’s a combination of both because you cannot have a totally wild globalisation, this is what people are worried about.
“If it’s wild, it means you don’t know what will happen, sometimes you can be ‘killed’ economically, suddenly, and you don’t like it but there is a need for explanation.
“I think globalisation is good – talk to our Chinese, Indian, Pakistani, Nigerian, North African colleagues, they think it’s good for them – and it’s good for us.”