Posted on 05/20/16 by Cara O'Donnell
Arlington Economic Development recently participated in the French-American Business Week at the Embassy of France. The two-day conference featured panelists from both sides of the Atlantic discussing topics ranging from corporate social responsibility to cybersecurity and the positive impact of women in business, and with a special focus on sustainability and smart cities.
According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, 2015 Census Bureau data, France is the 12th largest trading partner for the U.S. in terms of export at more than $30 billion per year. We also imported $47 billion worth of French goods in 2015. The U.S. continues to be the leading destination of French Foreign Direct Investment. According to Ambassador Rivkin, “Few bilateral economic relationships are older or deeper than that of the U.S. and France”
It was interesting to hear at the conference that France and the French language are prominently present in most of our day-to-day activities at Arlington Economic Development. Terms such as “money,” “commerce” and “Capitalism” all have French roots. Given the emphasis and support that Arlington Economic Development has devoted to the startup industry, it is funny to learn that the word “Entrepreneur” is also a French word!
There are 2,700 subsidiaries of French companies in the United States, employing more than 500,000 people. The most successful companies in the United States include Veolia, Safran, Airbus, Alstom, Suez Environnement, Keolis and Thales. Both Thales and Keolis have office locations in Arlington. Thales Group is located in 56 countries, employing 62,000 people. Thales USA is headquartered in Crystal City with close to 80 people. Thales serves both the civilian and military markets specializing in the aerospace, space, ground transportation, defense and security industries. Serving as a panelist at the conference, Brad Foreman of Thales USA talked about innovative solutions that Thales provides for municipalities in designing smart cities and buildings.Topic: BIG Update