After settling into his new offices in Buckhead and organizing hurricane relief efforts during his first week on the job, Philippe Ardanaz, France’s new consul general in Georgia, told GlobalAtlanta that he welcomed input from the local community about ways French-American business relations could be promoted throughout the Southeast.
“So much of the economic growth for the United States is in the Southeast,” Mr. Ardanaz said during a recent interview, noting that the size of cities such as New York and Miami made it difficult for small- to medium-sized European businesses to use them as entry points into the American market.
Mr. Ardanaz said that he hoped to use resources in Atlanta and throughout the Southeast to build stronger economic ties between France and the six states under his jurisdiction, which include Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee.
Before arriving in Atlanta, Mr. Ardanaz worked as deputy director of budget and finance for the French Foreign Ministry. He also lived in Washington from 1997-2001, working with the U.S. Congress as a visiting fellow and later with the French Embassy.
This is his first time in the Southeast, however, an area he intends to get to know very quickly, planning trips to Charlotte, N.C., and Greenville, S.C., for November.
A native of the Basque region of France, Mr. Ardanaz grew up in a Spanish and French bilingual home. Before working in Washington, Mr. Ardanaz spent two years in Cuba and four years in Argentina working for the French Foreign Ministry.
He began his post in Atlanta on Sept. 1 and most recently recognized 47 of Georgia’s World War II veterans during a French government-sponsored ceremony honoring their participation in the 1944 allied-forces’ invasion of Normandy. The event was held at the Atlanta History Center.
Contact Mr. Ardanaz at (404) 495-1681 or visit www.consulfrance-atlanta.org for more information on the consulate’s work in the Southeast.