Paris and the Ile de France Region will be featured as a prime center for the European operations of U.S. corporations at a seminar to be held starting at 9:00 a.m. Friday, May 30, at the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce.  That evening the Ile de France also will be featured at the Atlanta chapter of the French-American Chamber of Commerce’s 12th annual Passport to France, the chamber’s principal source of funding for the year.

      Senior officials from the region’s Agency for Corporate Development will discuss cost and tax advantages attracting U.S. companies to set up their European headquarters in the area.  Simon-Pierre Thiery, a director of ElectricitÈ de France (EDF), France’s main energy company, will head a delegation of French executives scheduled to attend the seminar.

      In addition there will be several presentations including that of Ross Guscette, FedEx’s manager of international airport properties, who will speak about “Paris as a Logistics Center for Western Europe in the 21st Century.”  FedEx moved its air cargo hub to Charles de Gaulle Airport last year and announced its plan to build a logistics center in the region which will create  an estimated 2,000 to 3,000 jobs.

      “This is the most important delegation of business development officials to come from Paris to Atlanta,” said John Lyons, president of Intercontinental Business Services Inc. and representative for the Ile de France in the Southeast. “Atlanta companies are invited to attend the seminar to learn about the cooperative French programs welcoming American companies to the greater Paris area.”

      Besides, FedEx, Mr. Lyons cited Motorola’s recent selection of Paris as the site for its European research center for mobile communications, and an investment by IBM of $1 billion in its chip manufacturing facility in the region.

      He added that small- to medium-sized companies should be interested in the region because of its importance as a marketing center for Europe.  The number of call centers are rapidly expanding in Paris, he said, because of the city’s large number of native European speakers.

      In addition to the Ile de France Region itself, EDF, Air France, France Telecom, SociÈtÈ GÈnÈrale and several hotel and travel agencies are among the French companies sponsoring this year’s Passport to France which will be held from 8:00 p.m. to midnight at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Buckhead.

      Cost of the seminar is $20 including a buffet lunch. To register, call Nancy Gregory at (404) 586-8476; fax, (404) 586-8464. To find out more about the Passport to France, call the French chamber at (404) 874-2602.