The Greater Peoria region hosted Business France‘s Head of Transportation Division in North America, Georges Ucko and Trade Advisor, Solène Bouret, for a GP Area Introduction in August. The French Consulate is organized around industry clusters and the Business France guests were interested in learning about the region’s autonomous mobility initiatives and companies supporting the railroad industry.
The first item on their agenda was a roundtable discussion with stakeholders leading local autonomous mobility efforts. NexMobi Board members, authors of “Will it Drive in Peoria?” grant initiative, and additional community partners shared plans for autonomous mobility test routes in downtown Peoria and extending into Tazewell County.
The second agenda item was a luncheon with representatives from the CEO Council and the Greater Peoria Manufacturing Network. Georges and Solène learned about the strengths of doing business in the region from Kevin Deany with Alliance Wheel Services, John Sutherland from River City Construction and Don Shafer from PNC Bank. They also heard from Patrick Peronnet, the French American Co-Founder of Trigo – SCSI and his business story about our region’s key role in making the American dream possible for him. The day ended with meetings with the Norfolk Southern and BNSF Railroads.
Foreign Consulates are key partners in business attraction as they help companies sell products in the US Market, locate businesses in the US, and assist US companies looking to trade with their respective countries. Consulate representatives are exploring investment opportunities all over the world. When they visit the region, it helps them understand the assets of the area and equips them to represent the region to businesses looking for new US locations.
Thanks to those who participated in the Business France visit and stay tuned for additional opportunities to come!