PHILADELPHIA (BRAIN) — Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter along with representatives from Advanced Sports International (ASI) are promoting cycling, commerce and investment in the city during a six-day trip to France. Nutter will meet with the mayor of Paris, cycling executives and a range of French businesses, including Saint-Gobain, which has its North American headquarters in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania.
The focus is on promoting Philadelphia as a destination for tourism and as a place for businesses to consider when planning to expand or relocate.
"We are one of the most visited cities in the country, supported by excellent access to air, rail and highway transportation," said Mayor Nutter. "We have experienced huge growth in the number of young, educated people who want to live and work in our city and that is driving more businesses to move to Philadelphia to access that talent. I welcome foreign investment and interest in our great city and I look forward to strengthening Philadelphia's ties with cities and businesses in France."
Joining Nutter on the trip are several staff from ASI including the company's president and CEO Pat Cunnane, Pennsylvania state representative Madeleine Dean, and Richard Adler and Alan Morrison of the Parx Casino Philly Cycling Classic. ASI, which markets the Fuji, Kestrel, SE, Breezer, Terry and Oval brands, is headquartered in Philadelphia.
In addition to viewing the Tour de France, Nutter will inspect the public bike sharing system in Paris, Vélib,' in advance of Philadelphia launching its own system in 2015.
He will also meet with Brian Cookson, president of Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI), to discuss the possibility of Philadelphia participating in a Women's World Cup cycling event in 2015. Lisa Nutter, the mayor's wife, is a Fuji-sponsored cyclist and has been leading an effort to increase awareness of women's cycling, both amateur and professional, in Philadelphia.
Nutter will also travel to Lyon to meet with a variety of French companies, including the CEO of Saint-Gobain Pierre-André de Chalendar, as well as representatives from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development, Center for Direct Investment. Building materials company Saint-Gobain employs about 15,000 people in 265 locations across the U.S. and Canada, including 800 in the greater Philadelphia region and more than 1,300 in Pennsylvania.
Nutter will seek to reinforce Saint-Gobain's strong ties with Pennsylvania, and extend that connection to the city of Philadelphia and its re-emerging manufacturing sector.