Dominique Lemoine, who was elected in the spring to the “conseiller consulaire” post that serves as a liaison between the the French government and the Southeast, has launched an online petition to save the Atlanta office of UbiFrance, France’s export promotion agency.
The petition is directed to Laurent Fabius, France’s foreign minister, and is titled “Laurent Fabius: Keep the UbiFrance Atlanta office open.” To access the petition, click here.
The France‘s Consulate General moved to Buckhead in 2010 with the creation of the “Maison de France,” bringing together under one roof the consulate, UbiFrance; the French-American Chamber of Commerce, Atlanta; the French External Trade Advisors, the “Ecole du Samedi,” and the welcoming organization Atlanta-Accuel.
In recent years, the number of employees in the UbiFrance office has been reduced to a single person and its closing is being considered under a budget revue. At its height there were as many as a dozen employees.
David Aferiat, president of the French chamber here, told Global Atlanta that he supports the petition, calling UbiFrance “one of the pillars along with the chamber, the consulate, and other organizations that make up La Maison France for Atlanta and the Southeast.”
“At a time where the Southeast continues as one of the fastest growing and economically powerful regions in the country, and the world for that matter, a retreat to New York City and California, though important, misses economic development opportunities that will diminish opportunity for France and the Southeast. It’s important to note that this is not the trend for other European countries who are increasing their investment in the region,” he said in a statement.