A Hot Summer in Europe
Ohio en plein cagnard ce juin.
Die Sonne knallt auch wenn es bewölkt ist!
Alina Harastasanu, JobsOhio Director of European Business Development•Fri Sep 01 2023
Across the globe, it’s been a very hot summer. And while the mercury soared across Europe so did JobsOhio when our International Business Development team attended 12 conferences and events hosted by several of our neighbors across the pond.
Here Are Some of the Places You May Have Seen Us
Our tour de force started in Amsterdam at Money 20/20 Europe, home to the boldest and brightest in financial services and fintech - where the money ecosystem comes together to shape what’s next for the industry. Some of this year’s numbers include 8,000+ attendees and 2,300+ companies from 90+ countries.
What better occasion to feature Ohio as the #4 largest financial services sector in the U.S. and the newly launched fintech sandbox? The conference even gave me the opportunity to get my hair done courtesy of Fintech Finance while discussing what makes Ohio great!
A reunion in Amsterdam with European consultants Corinne Hearne (U.K.); Marie-Jose’ Andrieu (France); Germana Di Falco (Italy); Sieb Hoogstra and Vick Verhaeghe (Belgium).
Unlocking Business Opportunities in the U.S., Amsterdam & Rotterdam
On a personal note, my job allows me to experience some of the most wonderful venues in Europe, full of history and character like the Schielandshuis in Rotterdam, home of Rotterdam Partners.
JobsOhio visited our friends at Rotterdam Partners at the Schielandshuis, which was built in 1665. This historic building is now surrounded by the city’s modern high-rises making it stand out even more.
S’implanter aux Etas-Unis, Lyon & Paris
France is the third-largest source of European FDI in Ohio, and we’re always happy to visit this beautiful country. This June, in the midst of a heatwave, JobsOhio traveled to Lyon and Paris. In Lyon, courtesy of Business France, CCI Auvergne-Rhone-Alpes, CCI Lyone Metropole, Region Auvergne-Rhone-Alpes, who hosted us and a large Cincinnati delegation led by EACC Cincinnati to talk about the Cincinnati Region, the amazing things that are happening there and throughout Ohio and how French companies have found a home in the Buckeye State.
S’implanter aux Etas-Unis featured great conversation at Palais de la Bourse, an iconic building in Lyon. It was only refurbished from the inside and recently renovated between 2000 and 2004.
2023 was the second year of participation in the Business France event, “S’implanter aux Etats-Unis”, Paris organized in June at the Residence of the U.S. Ambassador in France. This event allows for ample testimonials of French companies that have invested in the respective states. Our testimonial this year was given by Sophie Tricaud, VP of Corporate Affairs at Forsee Power. As a leader in the battery systems market, Forsee Power selected in 2022 Hilliard, Ohio, located in the Columbus Region, to establish its North American headquarters and Gigafactory.
Building Bridges in Paris
The evening of the same day saw a very well attended reception and very much Ohio centric, ”Building Bridges” at the Cercle De L'union Interalliée. Organized in partnership with the European - American Chamber of Commerce in Paris, with the support of CVG Airport and under the patronage of the U.S. Embassy in Paris, the event was less about speeches and data and more about networking between French companies and Ohio representatives, including Jonathan Bridges, Managing Director for the Automotive sector at JobsOhio, network partners such as Kimm Lauterbach, President & CEO of REDI Cincinnati or David Burrows, VP of Engagement at The Dayton Development Coalition (DDC), a delegation of 12 people representing corporate and local economic developers led by the European-American Chamber of Commerce in Cincinnati, our two consultants for French business attraction: Maxence Malaquin and Louis Le Gal. Many thanks to the people wearing multiple hats:
- Nelly Bonniol, President EACC Cincinnati, Honorary Consul of France in Cincinnati and VP Assignment – Operations at EssilorLuxottica, one of the largest French investors in Ohio.
- Cedric Le Rouge, President of the French-American Chamber of Commerce in Cleveland, Honorary Consul of France in Cleveland and CEO of Adexma.
As one of the most recognizable buildings in all of Paris, “The Interallié” was built in 1917 and serves as the home to this year’s Building Bridges event.
The 8th German American Business Forum DAWT
From France we hopped to Germany for a very quick participation at the 8th German-American Business Forum (DAWT), an event aimed at German companies wishing to establish or expand business relations with the USA. The focus is on consulting, discussions, and workshops that address practical issues, but state-level economic development organizations from the U.S. step in to answer questions and talk to companies about their concerns. This year, the event was organized in Frankfurt, by the German-American Chambers of Commerce of the South, with support from the IHK Frankfurt am Main. Around 250 company stakeholders with an interest in the U.S. market, as well as representatives from politics and business, were in attendance at this year's event.
- Amazing partners. We are very fortunate to count on some very special institutional partners in Europe, organizations that are just as committed to helping their companies access the U.S. market as we are to welcome them in Ohio. Entities like Business France, the European-American Chambers network, the German American Chamber of Commerce in Chicago, and the SelectUSA network in Europe, with the support of the respective U.S. embassies and consulates, have been and continue to be crucial to our international business development efforts. JobsOhio’s 12 European consultants are always able to count on a great collaboration with great stakeholders, be they public or private, and to leverage that collaboration to raise the profile of the state abroad.
- Clean energy and federal funding. If I had a penny for every time I have been asked to dissect the provisions of the Inflation Reduction Act or the Chips Act, the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, the DOE funds, etc., well, you know how that saying goes. Clean energy in Europe has made great strides for decades now and companies are excited to bring that expertise to the U.S. and why not take advantage of the newly announced funding? I was happy to see that the discourse that sometimes transpires in the media about the competition between the U.S. and Europe to “steal” businesses and investments is not really what the business world perceives, and there is a general understanding of the opportunity to hedge risk and diversify on a global scale. On the other hand, there is still so little known about the appropriation of funds and the methodology, and it’s constantly changing.
- Cultural differences. Something that surprised me this time around is that I’ve been hearing much more about the cultural differences between the US and Europe or individual countries. For example, many people have the perception that Americans work too much and have difficulty separating their careers and personal lives. Also, topics such as politics and religion are more acceptable in casual conversation in some European countries.
As summer winds down, I feel very fortunate to have been on such a whirlwind tour of our European counterparts. I learned so much from each experience, and I hope they learned just as much about what makes Ohio such a great place to conduct international business.
JobsOhio Director of European Business Development