Thursday, January 18, 2007

France wants a piece of the TTC pie

France seeks bigger role in S.A.'s growth


Meena Thiruvengadam
San Antonio Express-News
Copyright 2007

San Antonio is in the midst of an "economic miracle," and French businesses want to be part of it, the country's U.S. ambassador said here Thursday.

There are three areas in particular — mass transit, medicine and tourism — in which French companies can help San Antonio develop more quickly, Jean-David Levitte said during a luncheon at the Westin Riverwalk.

"These are three areas that are very important for the economy of San Antonio as well as three areas of our economy where we have really a technological edge," he said.

The country's companies could be instrumental in the implementation of the proposed Trans Texas Corridor, said J. Tullos Wells, a San Antonio lawyer, honorary consul of Canada and chairman of the Free Trade Alliance San Antonio, the group hosting the luncheon.

"They understand commuter rail and mass transit as well as anyone else on the planet," Wells said.

With 150 companies responsible for 50,000 jobs here, Levitte said France already is Texas' second-largest foreign direct investor.

© 2007 San Antonio Express-News: