The meeting of the Group of Eight (G-8) summit in Evian, France, June 1-3 will provide “a key moment” for agreement on economic policies that will stimulate growth in both Europe and the United States this year, Jean-David Levitte, the French ambassador to the U.S., said in Atlanta last week.

          He also said that a meeting of the French American Business Council in Paris in mid-June would provide another opportunity for improving business relations between the two countries. The council is composed of senior executives from both countries who will assess the state of bilateral relations.

          Mr. Levitte was in Atlanta May 22-23 for a two-day whirlwind of media interviews, visits with local officials, a tour of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a reception at the residence of the Consul General and two luncheon speeches.

          During a luncheon of the local chapter of the French American Chamber of Commerce at the World Trade Center Atlanta, he said he was surprised that the main topic of his visit with Gov. Sonny Perdue was how more French companies could be attracted to locate here.

          “I’m your man governor,” Mr. Levitte said he responded to Mr. Perdue’s query and promised to promote Georgia when he attended the meeting of the business council in Paris.

          “You represent the best place in the U.S. for investment,” he said, citing comparatively low business costs and few regulations, the absence of a strong union presence, the state’s transportation infrastructure including Hartsfield International Airport and the four daily flights between Atlanta and Paris provided by Air France S.A. and Delta Air Lines Inc.

          He underscored the importance of investment by 90 French companies in Georgia and the $147 billion that French companies have invested in the U.S. as a whole.

          Recent agreements on the reconstruction of Iraq between France and the U.S. would help create an atmosphere conducive to further agreements on a wide range of global issues including health policies for battling AIDS and SARS.

          He also said that the rise in the value of the euro to $1.17 might prompt European governments to lower interest rates to encourage economic growth.

          For more information, contact Natacha Constable at the French Consulate General in Atlanta at (404) 495-1660.