French-American Aviation Firms open New Facility
New Hampshire, March 31, 2014
Senators Shaheen and Ayotte,
SAFRAN Chairman and CEO Jean-Paul Herteman,
Albany International CEO Joe Morone,
Ladies and gentlemen,
It is a great honor for our Consul General Fabien Fieschi and for me to be here with you today on such a wonderful occasion, and it is always a great pleasure to come to New Hampshire. We French feel warmly welcome here, especially when we cross the state border and see the big road sign that says “Bienvenue au New Hampshire,” a reminder that this state is host to a large French-speaking community.
The special relationship between New Hampshire and France is solidly rooted in our common history and shared values, it also has to do with our growing economic partnership, through cross-investment in particular.
France is one of the largest foreign investor in New Hampshire. And I am particularly proud that today it is SAFRAN that is opening a new factory in the Granite State.
Because SAFRAN is a wonderful success story worldwide and is more and more a global leader in terms of innovation in particular. SAFRAN is one of Thomson Reuters’ top one hundred most innovative companies in the world, where by the way France is ranked 3rd, preceded only by the U.S. and Japan, and number 1 in Europe.
SAFRAN is also a major and growing player here in the United States and embodies the Franco-American partnership I was referring to.
In this respect SAFRAN Chairman and CEO Jean-Paul Herteman is not only a global business leader and a true visionary, he is also a close and long-time friend of America.
SAFRAN employs 7,000 employees in the U.S. and has had an exceptional long-term partnership with GE through CFM International, the world’s largest plane engine supplier. And during French President François Hollande’s recent visit to the United States, we celebrated this unmatched success story and its development for the decades to come.
That’s what our ceremony today is all about. With the facility that we are inaugurating today, SAFRAN is once again working side by side with an American partner, Albany, to deliver and build the best possible products as part of a global win-win partnership.
And it’s a win-win not only for both companies, but for both countries: While SAFRAN is launching its composite unit here in Rochester, Albany is building a facility in Commercy, in eastern France, and bringing along one of its American suppliers, the Rhode Island-based Concordia.
This says a lot about the fact that our two countries are working closely together to be on the winning side of globalization and that for France innovation is the number 1, number 2 and number 3 priority.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
our event today could not come at a better time: French-American relations, and this is good news, have never been closer than they are today, as illustrated by President Hollande’s very successful state visit to the U.S. six weeks ago.
To give you just one illustration of this, our two countries are each other’s closest allies in the fight against terrorism, as exemplified by France’s military operation in Mali, with much appreciated American support, to combat al-Qaida in Africa.
And on the economic front, we are actively supporting the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, the TTIP, to create more jobs on the two sides of the Atlantic.
Today’s inauguration is a wonderful illustration of this growing partnership between our two countries and between France, New Hampshire and Rochester.
So my warmest thanks and congratulations again to each and every one of you.