French Ambassador discusses COVID-19 response with private sector leaders at FedEx

On May 11, 2020, the Meridian Corporate Council in partnership with FedEx brought His Excellency Philippe Etienne, Ambassador of France to the United States, Mr. Fredrick W. Smith, Chairman and CEO of FedEx, and Mr. Raj Subramaniam, President and COO of FedEx to talk to the Meridian Corporate Council and a variety of stakeholders about the U.S.-France relationship during COVID-19 and how the private sector play a role.

France’s longstanding leadership in Europe has become critical during the Coronavirus pandemic as Europe saw a drastic increase in countries like Italy and Spain. France had also seen its share of COVID-19 cases, which caused the announcement of a 110-billion-euro scheme to support the economy and provide relief to those impacted by the crisis. Additionally, France has continued supporting businesses and people, by implementing a re-opening approach that has a series of phases. Meridian had the honor of hosting Ambassador Etienne on the first day of the eased restrictions. Obviously, France along with other countries in Europe and across the world have been careful to ease restrictions as they try to avoid a resurgence of cases.

France and FedEx have had a longstanding partnership that has grown to include a 9,000 member FedEx team operating in the country. FedEx has continued to play an important role keeping the global economy connected to everyday citizens as well as shipping personal protective equipment, ventilators, and medical tests as well as their results. Companies like FedEx continue to be frontline leaders in providing support to governments, NGOs, and others from the private sector.

There is no doubt that the post- COVID-19 world will be different than a world in which we have ever lived before. However, the quickness and success of any return to ‘normalcy’ will depend on several factors, such as how quickly a vaccine is made available, how willing and able people are to follow government and other institutional guidelines and procedures for phased re-openings, and how coordinated global groups such as the G7 and G20 are in working together to build a strengthened capacity. France is trying to set an example that other countries should follow, while they pioneer their re-opening of their economy.

Project summary

French Ambassador discusses COVID-19 response with private sector leaders at FedEx | May 2020
Number of Attendees: 92
Regions: Europe and Eurasia
Countries: France
Impact Areas: Business and Trade
Program Areas: Convening
Partners: Private Sector