Exporting to the EU: How Are “Oui” Doing?

10/28/2013 09:17:07 AM  -  0 Comments

Seminar Highlights Export Strategies and Business Opportunities in France and Germany 

GLI’s recent global business seminar drilled down so far as to offer tips on how to e-mail a potential colleague in Germany and how to handle a business lunch with the French. But it also painted a very big and bright future for those who wish to do business in the European Union (EU). Consul General Graham Paul of France and Consul General Dr. Christopher Brecht of Germany both humorously called their presentations “sales pitches” because they are so confident that they both offer the best economic environments in which to do business that they have each seen in a while. France and Germany together represent one third of the European market. France is the 5th largest economy in the world and Germany is 8th.

Paul, who along with Brecht is headquartered in Chicago, quickly dispelled the myth of the grumbling French person and focused on a productive and educated talent pool. According to current studies, 80% of French people are happy to go to work and France is 4th in the EU in terms of productivity. More than 40% of their workforce are college graduates. He considers France to be the gateway to the EU largely because of France’s focus on innovation. Innovation is their number one priority and is organized around 71 innovation clusters developed through their university system and enterprise channels that have helped to develop more than 5,000 new businesses. Currently 1,300 US companies operate in France representing 55,000 employees. Twenty of those companies are right here in Kentucky and represent more than 7,500 employees.



GLI Legislative Reception 2013: Focus on Appreciation and Key Legislative Issue

10/21/2013 10:49:36 AM  -  0 Comments

Brown-Forman's Jim Welch Put His Perspectives on Local Option Sales Tax 

Those who attended GLI's 2013 Legislative Reception were introduced to a new event format as well as to the many elected officials who were on hand to meet their constituents. Traditionally, the GLI event has been a dinner, but according to Craig Richard, GLI President and CEO, organizers decided to shake things up a bit and provide a much less structured and more open forum for folks to talk and get to know each other. The idea would seem to have merit as more than 200 attendees mixed it up with the more than 40 elected officials who attended the appreciation event. 

During a brief program, Louisville Metro Council President Jim King outlined how metro council works with businesses and included some of the work accomplished by the Council during the last year.  Highlights include continuing work on a balanced budget, helping to arrange the re-opening of Kentucky Kingdom and the revaluation of controversial neighborhood development funds. Jefferson County Delegation Chair Darryl Owens provided the same overview with regard to the state legislature, highlighting funding for Floyds Fork parks, tax incentives for Ford Motor Company, introduction of legislation to provide for toll collection for financing of the Ohio River Bridges project and funding for a number of U of L projects.