Ambassador Visits Alabama to Promote Investment
During a two-day visit to Montgomery, Ala., Ambassador François Delattre conducted several public speaking engagements as well as high-level meetings to promote cross-investment between France and Alabama.
Amb. Delattre met with Governor Robert Bentley on February 12 to discuss the effects of a $600 million investment from the French aviation company Airbus, which will fund the building of a manufacturing facility in Mobile. A $2 million investment in Alabama is also underway from Safran, a French aerospace and security company.
"We are working with the Governor and his economic development team" to deepen French-Alabaman partnership, Amb. Delattre said after the meeting, the Montgomery Advertiser newspaper reported.
Amb. Delattre also met with Hilda Lockhart, Trade Division Director at the Alabama Department of Commerce.
He stressed that the discussions sought to realize unusually large economic goals. It was "not a kind of business-as-usual meeting that we had," Amb. Delattre said. "There is an ambition here."
French companies have a pre-established relationship with the state. As its fourth-largest foreign investor, France supports over 10,000 jobs in Alabama. The Airbus site is projected to create an additional 1,000 and will operate at the Brookley Aeroplex in Mobile.
Later the same evening, the Ambassador addressed the Alabama World Affairs Council (AWAC) at the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts. AWAC gathers local and regional stakeholders in business and global affairs.
Outside of transatlantic business, "other projects of cooperation in the cultural and scientific domains" are also under development between France and the American southeast, said Claire Collobert-Angelle, Press Attaché of the Consulate General of France in Atlanta.