While the French diplomatic network is being pared down around the world, the economic department of France’s Consulate General in Atlanta is to be expanded this spring, according to Rene-Serge Marty. Mr. Marty is France’s consul general and commercial counselor based here.

“Our interests now seem to be matching those of Georgia and generally speaking those of the Southeast,” Mr. Marty told GlobalAtlanta. He said that three to four new staffers are to be added to the economic department’s current two-person staff for a total of 20 or so employees in the consulate.

“The incredible growth of the region, the privileged relations we have with the Georgia Department of Economic Development, the presence of Hartsfield airport, and the proximity of dynamic and expanding centers such as Charlotte, Nashville or Huntsville were all key factors in convincing the French authorities,” he added.

Under the reorganization, the economic department here will be responsible for providing support to French companies and financial institutions seeking to invest in the U.S.

“This is good news for the Southeast since most of our clients are small- to medium-sized companies that do not have the means to invest in New York or California, but that should find the New South’s labor and office costs more attractive,” Mr. Marty said.

The economic department here is to continue serving as a correspondent office for its Chicago counterpart, which is responsible for the industrial goods sector, and for its New York counterpart, which is responsible for the consumer goods sector.

Besides the economic department, the consulate provides consular, cultural and press services.

For more information, call Natacha Constable, press attache, at (404) 495-1682.