The Amcham winter reception on 24 February marked the first formal opportunity for Franz Fayot to address the business community since being appointed economy minister Photos: Lala La Photo
Photo: LaLa La Photo
In his first formal opportunity addressing the business community since taking on the role as Luxembourg’s economy minister, Franz Fayot (LSAP) shared his views on space and innovation, and strategies on achieving sustainable economy.
Photo: LaLa La Photo
Fayot called it “fitting” he was addressing an American audience on Monday evening.
“The friendship between the United States and Luxembourg is two centuries old,” he told attendees in the iconic BCEE building at 19, avenue de la Liberté. “From Luxembourg emigrants moving to the US in the 19thcentury escaping poverty and in search of new opportunities, to US industrial companies investing in our country in more recent times.”
Among those companies are industrial giants like Goodyear and Dupont, as well as tech players--Amazon now, Google in the works—and financial institutions, like JP Morgan and Franklin Templeton.
Boosting innovation: space and beyond
Among the commonalities between the two countries? For Fayot, the two “share one common goal and a visionary leadership: the desire to develop and promote the commercial space industry”, and the path paved by his predecessor Étienne Schneider is one in which Fayot “clearly intend[s] to pursue”, as innovation in the sector “will help to provide solutions to the environmental and societal challenges our planet is facing.”
But “boosting innovation” will also be key in other areas: Fayot cited the European Commission’s green deal—and Luxembourg’s ambitious climate targets—plus the recent strategy on digital and AI as areas on the horizon, and the goal moving forward will be “turning the green transition into business opportunities”.
But digital innovation should involve “a holistic approach”, Fayot said, not only in developing ecosystems, infrastructure and efficient policies, but also to provide added value, all of which “will support the transition towards a different economic model” not just for the country, but also “within a larger frame of ‘quality of life’ for people living and working in Luxembourg.”
Learn from each other
Minister Fayot acknowledged his unique role, also as minister for development cooperation and humanitarian affairs. Speaking about his recent visit to Cape Verde, Fayot said that “lots can be learned in what they are trying to do”, even for Luxembourg.
He said he had been impressed with the energy transition taking place there, and innovation with regards to renewable energies and empowering youngsters.
In his introduction, Amcham CEO and chairman Paul Schonenberg called Fayot an individual who “is honest, extremely professional, works very hard”, adding that he was “positively impressed” with the interactions he’d had with the minister thus far.
Amcham’s next event welcomes mobility minister François Bausch (déi Gréng), who will be guest of honour for the luncheon on 2 March, the first business day after the launch of free public transport. Registration is possible via amcham.lu