From the earliest origins of the European colonization of Texas, France has maintained a special relationship with the Lone Star State. Nowhere are those ties more evident than in the state capital, where France became one of the earliest world powers to recognize the Republic of Texas by establishing a diplomatic mission known as the French Legation. The three-acre property of the beautiful legation, which boasts the oldest wooden frame structure in Austin, annually hosts the popular Bastille Day celebration on its grounds, thanks to Austin’s thriving Alliance Française.

As Austin has grown from a laid-back college town into the 11th largest city in the United States, the ties between France and Central Texas are expanding. Austin has an Austin International School where children are taught in French and English, as well as Spanish, not to mention a new sister cities’ organization linking Austin to Angers, France. There is a strong French presence at SXSW and now, Formula One racing and the “Lone Star Le Mans.”None of these events would be successful without the support of Austin’s Franco-American business community, from restaurateurs and caterers to artists, high-tech businesses, law firms and more.

The time has come for a business council to serve as an enabling catalyst between businesses in Austin, Texas and in France, their respective educational partners, the French government (via the consulate in Houston), and the myriad French-American cultural institutions in Austin/Central Texas and in France.

WHEREFORE, the French American Business Council of Austin, Inc. (FABCA) states its purpose:

To serve the common business interest of the FABCA membership by advancing economic initiatives between the French-American and/or French-speaking business community in the Austin area and their counterparts in France. FABCA aspires to do so through activities commensurate with this overarching purpose, such as:

  • Documenting expertise and contact information of companies and educational institutions in Austin to increase the awareness of those capabilities in France and vice versa
  • Facilitating dialogue between Austin and French companies and educational institutions with comparable focus and expertise
  • Promoting, to the extent permissible within its 501(c)(6) status, partnerships and cooperative programs between companies or institutions in France and Austin
  • Educating Austin-area and French companies on successfully conducting business in their respective regions and promoting a robust economic environment in which to do so
  • Sponsoring and hosting economic development delegations in focused areas of interest, such as biotechnology, life sciences, cloud computing/IT, education, food and beverage, gaming/digital media, healthcare, and software
  • Identifying, where appropriate, fee-based service providers to help Austin-area or French companies with endeavors in the other country (g., market assessment, competitive research and analysis, translation, relocation)
  • Sponsoring networking events to facilitate business interaction and provide marketing opportunities with and among the French-speaking or France-connected business community in Austin
  • Fostering links between private sector and institutions of higher education to connect academic researchers and students, including facilitating student internships
  • Expanding the economic impact of SXSW and similar festivals and conferences—including Formula One, Austin City Limits, and the Bastille Day celebration—for Austin and French companies’ business interests