Discours de la cérémonie de remise des insignes de Chevalier dans l’Ordre national du Mérite à M. Ariya Banomyong à la Résidence de France - le 27 novembre 2018

Cher Ariya Banomyong,
Chère Madame Pattana Banomyong
Chers Oncles et tantes
Amis de la famille,
Ladies and Gentlemen

I am delighted to welcome you tonight to celebrate one man, Mr Ariya Banomyong, who will receive in a moment one of the highest distinctions of the French government, the National Order of Merit.
Khun Ariya was appointed to the rank of Knight for his outstanding contribution to France, not only as a professional in the tech and telecommunications industry but also as a vice-president of the board of the French Cultural Center, l’Alliance Française.

This is why, tonight, the two communities, Tech professionals and members of the French Culture Scene in Thailand are gathering to honor you, Khun Ariya.

If culture is spontaneously associated to France, innovation and entrepreneurship are perhaps a little less obvious, even if “entrepreneur” is a French word.

But the truth is that France is already a startup nation. And the French Tech initiative is a perfect illustration of how successful France’s startups ecosystem is.

Since it was first introduced in 2013, French Tech has aimed to promote the emergence of French startups. It’s succeeded in doing so, contributing to an ecosystem of some 10,000 startups that raised €2.5 billion in 2017 and participated in the creation of 12% of new jobs in France. French Tech network now consists of 35 labelled communities in France and abroad.

But, for the French Minister of State for the Digital Sector, Mounir Mahjoubi : “We must get French startups off the ground”. That is why he launched the “French Tech 2022” initiative.
Among other things, it consists in :

- First, lending support to companies with hypergrowth projects on the international scene, with new financing and mentoring programmes as well as more visibility with the new “Next 40” indicator, which will helps raise the profile of France’s 40 most promising startups.

- And then, improving France’s ability to attract talent with the extension of the “French Tech Visa” and the “French Tech Ticket” schemes.

Here, in Thailand, French Tech is very dynamic, gathering around 80 Tech professionals and startups.
And it has the full support of my team, especially Business France, our national agency in charge of the internationalization of the French economy.

I would also like to thank the volunteers, the members of the steering committee of French Tech Thailand and those who decided to join this community here in Thailand. You all are representatives of the French “savoir-faire” in Tech and a powerful link between France and Thailand.
Thank You !!!

And now, allow me to come back to Khun Ariya.
To say, in a nutshell, that you are a very talented and still young professional with almost two decades of combined experience in telecommunications, software, management and marketing.

Everybody knows you, of course, as the managing director of Line Thailand, an application with amazing popularity in this country.

You started your impressive career in Europe for the French Telecom Company Orange, In Romania, then with Genesys, Netonomy, Orange Thailand, True Corporation, and as head of Google Thailand.
It is therefore easy to understand why you are considered as one the most influential personalities in this country.

But, there is so much more to say. And to start with, that your are one of the frenchest of the Thais and one of the thaiest of the French, if you allow me these not very pretty neologism. You were born and raised in France. You speak four languages, and, among them, of course French.
Educated in Paris and London, you hold two master’s degrees in Mathematics & IT from the University of Marne-La-Vallée, and in Management from the London School of Economics.
“A brain well-formed and well filled” as Montaigne would have said.

I also want to commend your commitment to the promotion of French language and culture. You offer your skills to the “Alliance Française” to strengthen its visibility on social networks, in particular “Line”. Furthermore, you give valuable advice on marketing issues. It’s probably your way to keep this very strong link with the country that saw you grow up and taught you a spirit of independence, and how to think critically.

But I know another way, and this is food, of course ! I heard you were a food lover and that you educated your sons by bringing them to different food places to expand their palate.
I could add that you are married and the father of two twin toddlers as well as an accomplished athlete, in the top 5 Cross Fitters in your category in Thailand.

Finally, I would like to take this opportunity to pay my tribute to your family here present. Because, Kuhn Ariya, you are the grandson of the former Prime Minister Pridi Banomyong, an illustrious name which means history and respect in Thailand.

General de Gaulle founded the National Order of Merit on December 3, 1963, to reward outstanding services rendered to France based on personal merit. In your case, Khun Ariya, this distinction has been awarded by the President of France as a mark of appreciation for your extensive contribution to France and to the French community, in Thailand.

And I will now proceed with the formal part of this ceremony

Monsieur Ariya Banomyong, au nom du Président de la République et en vertu des pouvoirs qui nous sont conférés, nous vous faisons Chevalier dans l’ordre national du Mérite.

publié le 23/07/2019

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