By Chip Brownlee
Alabama Political Reporter
Governor Kay Ivey will be traveling to France later this week as part of a trade mission to spotlight Alabama companies and possibly recruit new industry to the State.
During her visit to the Paris Air Show — the world’s longest-running and largest aerospace show, which begins Monday — Ivey will meet with various companies from the around the world along with delegations from around Alabama. Many of the meetings with the company delegations will be one-on-one, her office said, but others will be in group settings.
“Recruiting new businesses to Alabama and encouraging the ones we already have to expand requires the building of meaningful relationships,” said Eileen Jones, Ivey’s press secretary said.
The International Paris Air Show typically draws more than 2,000 exhibitors from across the globe, including several from Alabama and dozens from across the US. Many other states also send their governors as part of their delegation.
“Governor Ivey will use her time in Paris to build a rapport with aerospace industry leaders so as to build a comfortable, working relationship with them,” Jones said. “These relationships have proven, in the past, to be key to landing important economic development projects in Alabama.”
Alabama Commerce Secretary Greg Canfield and members of the Commerce Department Staff will accompany Ivey to the air show, as they have with past governors who attended the air show. Ivey’s office also said a “few members” from her staff would also be traveling to the air show.
“Recruiting industry to our state takes great amounts of time and effort; a business doesn’t decide overnight to relocate to Alabama,” Jones said.
The air show allows the governor to meet with numerous aerospace companies at the same place at the same time, which saves time and resources, the Governor’s Office said. One major project, GE’s Aviation additive manufacturing facility in Auburn, began with talks at the Paris Air Show in 2013.
Ivey will depart Friday with her staff and should return next Wednesday.