France lists 200 companies in Florida, and growing
By Rachel Tannenbaum
With over 200 French companies invested in Florida and 20,000 related jobs, France's presence in Miami continues to grow with the support of the Consulate of France and the Beacon Council.
Two years into his duty in Miami, French Consul General GaŽl de Maisonneuve said the partnership between the Beacon Council and the consulate is a close operation and that he's grateful for the Beacon Council's involvement in promoting the French presence in Miami.
"France is a main target for Miami, after Spain, and there is a lot of interest for French companies expanding to the United States," said Frank Nero, president and chief executive officer of the Beacon Council.
Celebrating its 25th birthday in 2010, the Consulate of France in Miami has jurisdiction over French activities in Florida, Puerto Rico, the Bahamas, the Cayman Islands, Turks and Caicos and US. Virgin Islands. The Beacon Council and the Consulate of France were both created about the same time, and Mr. de Maisonneuve said they've grown together.
"We both experienced youth, then maturity together," Mr. de Maisonneuve said.
Mr. Nero said the Beacon Council began involvement with France a decade ago. He said it's very significant to have a French consulate in Miami for direct contact with French companies and government.
In returning the Beacon Council's support, Mr. de Maisonneuve said the consulate prepares the council for its trips to France. The Beacon Council attended a seminar in Paris in June and used help from the consulate to prepare.
"We helped the council connect with the right contacts, VIPs, receptions and parties," Mr. de Maisonneuve said.
As for the promotion of French trade, the annual French Week, which took place Nov. 3-23 and just celebrated its fourth birthday, promotes French culture, trade and business in South Florida, Mr. de Maisonneuve said.
"French week highlights the French presence in Miami and a variety of different issues," Mr. Nero said.
Mr. de Maisonneuve said the impact of infrastructure and education in Miami is good, but he has hopes for it to be more.
"French businesses in South Florida and Florida are dynamic," Mr. de Maisonneuve said, "and I hope to see them grow."
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