Ambassador François Delattre highlighted the rich French-American relationship in Alabama that encourages investment and innovation during his visit to Mobile, Alabama on March 23-24, 2014.
This visit was organized following an invitation from the Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce to keynote their 2014 Advisors and Directors Spring Meeting.
In presence of Mayor Sandy Stimpson, Senator Jeff Sessions, and Representative Bradley Byrne, Ambassador Delattre addressed the growing economic ties between France and the US, particularly in Alabama, before an audience of over 200 businessmen and women from the Chamber.
“Alabama has a growing role in the Franco-American partnership,” he said, lauding the $600 million Airbus investment in Mobile for its first A320 assembly line on US soil.
Indeed, Airbus represents just the beginning for attracting more investment, Delattre emphasized, pointing out the $2 million investment of the French company Safran, which is the first major Airbus supplier to locate to Mobile. France represents the fourth largest foreign investment in Alabama, with more than twenty French companies supporting some 6,500 jobs across the state.
He pointed out that the shared values of freedom and democracy are drivers for “cross-investment, innovation, and investment”, helping us to go forward together. For him, Alabama is full of potential and Mobile is “in many ways an example to follow”.
In recognition of the historic French-American relationship in Alabama that goes back over 300 years, U.S. Rep. Bradley Byrne presented the Ambassador with a U.S. flag once flown over the Capitol.
Delattre also toured the Airbus A320 final assembly line construction site at the Mobile Aeroplex at Brookley. Scheduled to become operational in 2015, the $600 million facility will employ about 1,000 people when it reaches its full annual production by 2018.