Alliance News January 24, 2020

Hornets, Charlotte Regional Business Alliance Host Event in Paris

PARIS – Business and sports leaders from the Charlotte, North Carolina Region made a play for international business investment at an economic development forum for European business executives today in Paris.

The Charlotte Regional Business Alliance and the Charlotte Hornets, in partnership with the National Basketball Association (NBA) and Fortune 100 Companies Bank of America and Honeywell, hosted “The Ball is in Your Court: Doing Business in the Charlotte Region,” a panel discussion to inform European business leaders about the Region’s thriving international business community, which is ripe for foreign direct investment.

“This is a great opportunity for the City of Charlotte to participate in a global event and highlight Charlotte’s growth as a leading destination for forward-thinking and innovative companies,” said Charlotte Mayor Vi Lyles. “Our region has a long and successful history with a number of international companies, including several European and French companies, which have added so much not only to our business environment, but also to the community and culture of what is one of the fastest-growing cities in the United States.”

The economic development event tipped off with an introduction from Adam Silver, NBA Commissioner. Moderated by Rosalyn Durant, Senior Vice President of College Networks Programming at ESPN, the panel speakers included Janet LaBar, Charlotte Regional Business Alliance President & CEO and Fred Whitfield, Charlotte Hornets President & Vice Chairman, and business executives from two international Fortune 100 companies headquartered in Charlotte: Bruce Thompson, Vice Chairman, President EU & Switzerland, Bank of America, and Anne T. Madden, Senior Vice President and General Counsel for Honeywell.

“We’re incredibly excited to be participating in the NBA’s first-ever regular-season game in Paris, and we’re pleased to be able to use this opportunity to help promote the Charlotte region in Europe,” said Hornets Sports & Entertainment President & Vice Chairman Fred Whitfield.  “As a corporate citizen of Charlotte, it is our responsibility to help our city grow.  We are proud of our relationship with the Charlotte Regional Business Alliance, and thankful for our partners at Bank of America and Honeywell who share our commitment.”

A global hub, the Charlotte Region boasts more than 1,000 internationally owned companies. The Charlotte Douglas International Airport (CLT) is the largest airport in the Carolinas and the 7th busiest airport in the world, surpassing Amsterdam Schiphol Airport (9th), Charles de Gaulle Airport (11th), London Heathrow Airport (12th) and the Frankfurt Airport (13th) in total aircraft movements. In fact, CLT offers more than 750 direct flights to 175 destinations including over 35 direct international flights to London, Frankfurt, Munich, Paris, Toronto and Mexico City.

In addition to the NBA’s Charlotte Hornets, the region is also home to the National Football League’s Carolina Panthers, AAA baseball’s Charlotte Knights and NASCAR. The Region recently celebrated the addition of its own Major League Soccer team. International soccer teams A.C. Milan, Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund, Chelsea, Inter Milan, Liverpool and Paris Saint Germain, have played summer friendlies in Charlotte during the International Champions Cup.

“Businesses thrive in the Charlotte Region in large part because of our vibrant workforce and a quality of life that keeps our community healthy and happy, which we know is particularly important to European companies,” said Charlotte Regional Business Alliance President & CEO Janet LaBar. “When you combine access to talent and a prime geographic location with unparalleled logistics and transportation connectivity, it’s no wonder why so many international companies are making the Charlotte Region their home in the U.S.”

The Charlotte Region is home to more than 700 European companies, which employ nearly 57,000 people throughout the community. Moreover, 60 French companies have made the Charlotte Region their home, employing 4,200 workers who have created a booming French community within the region, which includes Nicolas Batum of the Hornets. Top French employers in the Charlotte Region include:

  • Michelin Aircraft Tire Co LLC
  • Orano USA
  • SCOR Global Life Americas
  • Legrand
  • Aplix Inc
  • Schneider Electric
  • Atotech USA Inc
  • CertainTeed Corp
  • Turbomeca Manufacturing Inc
  • BIC Corp

Businesses headquartered in the Charlotte Region also have deep connections in key European hubs, including London, Paris and Germany. Bank of America recently added more than 300 employees to its Paris-based operation.

“Helping to give successful companies the power to accelerate their growth internationally is a core part of our business,” said Bruce Thompson, Vice Chairman, President EU & Switzerland, Bank of America. “With our global headquarters in Charlotte and a significant presence in Paris, we are delighted to have this opportunity to help to strengthen the economic ties between two such important and vibrant markets.”

“As the location for Honeywell’s new global headquarters, the Charlotte Region is the ideal location for us to continue our growth trajectory as a premier software-industrial company,” said Anne T. Madden, senior vice president and general counsel for Honeywell. “Charlotte has an outstanding talent base, a diverse and growing range of businesses, and a creative, dynamic culture that together provide all the ingredients great companies need to thrive. We are proud to be partnering with the Charlotte Regional Business Alliance to showcase the potential of this exciting and fast-growing region to the international business community.”


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