The Program

The “Young Leaders” program is the flagship program of the France-Asia Foundation. Each year – and for each of the programs organized with a chapter country – about thirty French and local personalities aged 30 to 45 are selected. These individuals are expected to play an important role in their own country and in Franco-Asian and international relations.

The laureates participate in two successive five-day seminars, alternately held in France and in the chapter country, in a city or region chosen for its political, economic, and cultural significance.

Each seminar includes discussion sessions on current events in both countries, meetings with leading figures, as well as visits to industrial sites or important political and cultural sites in the country. The “Young Leaders” program particularly emphasizes intra-group exchanges to strengthen ties between participants and foster future exchanges.

The 2013 session brought together 35 Chinese and French young and open-minded leaders in Bordeaux and Paris, during a four-day seminar, from August 30th to September 2nd .

Overview of the Young Leaders Program in 2013:
• Group discussion sessions between Young Leaders about topics of common concern
• Interview with Mr. François Hollande, President of the French Republic, Elysée Palace
• Interview with Mr. Laurent Fabius, Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Quai d’Orsay
• Interview with Mr. Jean-Pierre Raffarin, former Prime Minister, the Senate
• Visit of emblematic sites (industrial and cultural) in Bordeaux and Paris
• Visit of “grands crus classés” castles: La Fleur-Pétrus and Smith Haut-Laffite
• Roundtable about sustainable development and debate with its main actors in France
• Gala evening at Le Louvre, notably in the presence of strategic committee members of the foundation
France-China Seminar: August 30th - September 2nd, 2013 (Bordeaux, Paris)

The 2014 edition brought together 37 French and Chinese Young Leaders for 4 days in Hangzhou and Beijing, from October 24th to October 27th. Its main theme was “The Role of Cities in International Relations”.

Program Overview:

  • Discussion sessions among Young Leaders
  • Meeting with Mr. LI Yuanchao, Vice President of the People’s Republic of China
  • Visit to ALIBABA group and discussion session with Mr. Brian WONG, Vice President
  • Visit to the China Academy of Art with architect WANG Shu, winner of the 2012 Pritzker Prize
  • Lunch with Mr. Jean-Pierre RAFFARIN, former Prime Minister, and Mr. LI Zhaoxing, former Minister of Foreign Affairs
  • Discussion session with Mr. Hubert VEDRINE, former Minister of Foreign Affairs, on “The Role of Cities in International Relations”
  • Meeting with Mr. Maurice GOURDAULT-MONTAGNE, Ambassador of France to China
  • Visit to the workshop of Mr. HUANG Rui, an iconic figure in contemporary art in China
France-China Seminar: October 24th - 27th, 2014 (Hangzhou, Beijing)

The 2015 edition brought together 37 Young Leaders for 4 days in Normandy and Paris, from October 16th to 19th. Its main theme was “Culture and Soft Power”.

Program Overview:

  • Discussion sessions among Young Leaders on the theme “Culture and Soft Power”
  • Reception at the Hôtel de Matignon, in the presence of the Prime Minister, Mr. Manuel VALLS
  • Meeting with Mr. Philippe AUGIER, Mayor of Deauville, and visit to the Haras du Quesnay
  • Lunch with Mr. Edouard PHILIPPE, Mayor of Le Havre, Young Leader 2013, and visit to the port of Le Havre
  • Visit to the Historial Jeanne d’Arc in Rouen, the largest venue dedicated to the memory of this historical figure
  • Discovery of the Chinese collections at the Musée Guimet with Mrs. Sophie MAKARIOU, President
  • Participation in a rehearsal of a contemporary dance performance at the Palais Garnier
France-China Seminar 2015: October 16th - 19th, 2015 (Normandy, Paris)

The 2016 edition brought together 40 Young Leaders for 4 days in the Henan province and Beijing, from September 16th to 19th. Its main theme was “Heritage and Innovation”.

Program Overview:

  • Discussion among young leaders on the theme “Heritage and Innovation”, led by Mr. Cédric VILLANI, mathematician and winner of the Fields Medal, and Mr. Frédéric RAILLARD, Young Leader 2013 and co-founder of Fred & Farid
  • Interview with Mr. LI Yuanchao, Vice President of the People’s Republic of China
  • Visit to the infrastructure of the “New Silk Road” in Zhengzhou
  • Meeting with Mr. Jean-Pierre RAFFARIN, former Prime Minister, at the French Embassy in Beijing
  • Visit to the Shaolin Temple, the birthplace of kung fu, and discussion with the abbot on the theme “Why is kung fu so modern?”
  • Visit to the SOHO 3Q co-working space in Beijing
France-China Seminar 2016: September 16th - 19th (Henan, Beijing)

The 2017 edition brought together 49 Young Leaders for 4 days in Lyon, Dijon, and Paris, from October 13th to 16th. Its main theme was “Health and Innovation”.

Program Overview:

  • Discussion sessions among Young Leaders
  • Visit to bioMérieux, a global leader in in vitro diagnostics
  • Discussion session on artificial intelligence, with Laurent ALEXANDRE, an artificial intelligence expert
  • Visit to the New Franco-Chinese Institute in Lyon
  • Visit to YAN Peiming’s workshop in Dijon
  • Discussion session with Martin HIRSCH, Director of AP-HP, on “The Challenges of Health in France”
  • Visit to Station F


France-China Seminar: October 13th - 16th (Lyon, Dijon, Paris)

The 2018 edition brought together 44 Young Leaders for 4 days in Chongqing and Beijing, from October 12th to 15th. Its main theme was “The Megacities of the Future”.

Overview of the 2018 Young Leaders Program:

  • Discussion sessions among Young Leaders
  • Interview with WANG Qishan, Vice President of the People’s Republic of China
  • Visit to the Sichuan Fine Arts Institute
  • Meetings with LIU Jiakun, world-renowned architect
  • Discussion with Professor SUN Jiwei, former mayor of Pudong district in Shanghai and vice secretary general of the Shanghai Government
  • Visit to BOE, a specialist in connected objects, and Face++, a leader in facial recognition technology
  • Visit to Testbed 2, an artistic renovation district in Chongqing


France-China Seminar: October 12th - 15th (Chongqing, Beijing)

The 2019 edition brought together 44 Young Leaders for 4 days in Aix-en-Provence, Arles, and Paris, from July 5th to 8th. Its main theme was “Optimism”.

Program Overview:

  • Discussion sessions among Young Leaders on the theme of Optimism
  • Visit to TheCamp, Aix-en-Provence
  • Day at the Economic Meetings of Aix-en-Provence
  • Discussion with Valérie PÉCRESSE
  • Discussion with Lionel ZINSOU, Thomas BUBERL, and Pascal LAMY
  • The Arles Photography Meetings: Discussions with Sam STOURDZÉ, Director of Les Rencontres d’Arles, Philippe CHANCEL, and Kurt TONG, photographers
  • Visit to the National Assembly by deputies Anne-Laure CATTELOT (YL 2018), Coralie DUBOST (YL 2017), and Olivier VÉRAN
  • Discussion with our Young Leader, Sibyle VEIL, at Radio France
France-China Seminar: July 5th - 8th, 2019 (Aix-en-Provence, Arles, Paris)

The 2021 edition brought together 26 Young Leaders for 4 days in Paris and at the Châteauform Mareil-le-Guyon, from October 22nd to 24th, 2021.

Program Overview:

  • Meeting with Agnès PANNIER-RUNACHER (YL 2017), Minister Delegate to the Minister of the Economy, Finance, and Recovery, in charge of Industry
  • Meeting with François BARRAULT, President of IDATE
  • Meeting with Nicolas HOUZÉ (YL 2016), CEO, Galeries Lafayette Group / BHV Marais
  • Visit to Galeries Lafayette Haussmann with Alexandre LIOT (YL 2021), Managing Director of Galeries Lafayette Haussmann
  • Meeting with Pascal LAMY, former Director-General of the WTO, President of the Jacques Delors Institute
  • Young Leaders Session: “What future for the France-China relationship?” organized by groups of Young Leaders
  • Young Leaders Session: “Europe-China, the challenges of climate transition” organized by groups of Young Leaders
  • Meeting with Jean-Baptiste DJEBBARI (YL 2020), Minister Delegate to the Minister of Ecological Transition, in charge of Transport
  • Meeting with Sylvie BERMANN, Ambassador of France to China (2011-2014), to the United Kingdom (2014-2017), and to Russia (2017-2019), President of the Board of Directors of IHEDN
  • Private visit to the Bourse de Commerce – Collection Pinault
France-China Seminar: October 22nd - 24th, 2021 (Paris, Châteauform Mareil-le-Guyon)

For the inaugural edition of the France-India Seminar, 25 young leaders were present. The group enjoyed a blend of discussion sessions, site visits, and cultural outings.

Program Overview:

  • Meeting with the Vice President of India, Shri Jagdeep DHANKHAR
  • Visit to the Humayun’s Tomb with writer and historian William DARLYMPLE
  • Visit to the new showroom of startup Ultraviolette and presentation by its co-founder, Niraj RAJMOHAN
  • Roundtable with startup founders moderated by Manish SABHARWAL
  • Visit to the Capgemini India site and meeting with its CEO, Ashwin YARDI
  • VIP invitation to an IPL cricket match
  • Private meeting with Shri Shri RAVISHANKAR at the Art of Living ashram
France-India Seminar: April 13th - 16th (New Delhi, Bangalore)


Candidater, être sélectionné dans une promotion et participer aux deux séminaires organisés pour chacun programme est une expérience enrichissante et inoubliable. Les séminaires permettent d’entrer en contact non seulement avec une autre culture et des interlocuteurs de premier rang, mais aussi d’établir des liens pérennes et d’amitié entre lauréates et lauréats.

Candidate-specific criteria

  • In its choices, the Selection Committee seeks a balanced representation of the sectors from which the “Young Leaders” come, including politics, administration, and the military; business and entrepreneurship; arts; media; research; and the nonprofit sector

Diversity-related criteria

  • In its selection process, the Selection Committee seeks openness and social diversity as well as gender parity.

The selection process

Applications for the Young Leaders program are announced on the website of the France-Asia Foundation.

If you are interested or know a candidate whose profile might interest the France-Asia Foundation, we invite you to send a message to:


Directeur de cabinet du PDG du groupe Capgemini

David AN

Vice-président de Séquoia Capital China

Antoine COLSON

Directeur général de l'International Private Equity Market (IPEM)

Geoffroy LADET

Directeur général du Puy du Fou Asia


China country manager d’AXA Investment Managers

Alexandre MIRLESSE

Diplomate en charge de l'IA et de la Cyber à l'ambassade de France aux États-Unis

Eric HO

Chairman and executive director, WE Solutions Limited

GAO Jingyan

Vice President, North China University of Water Resources and Electric Power

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