First Lady Cecilia Abbott and Texas Secretary of State Jane Nelson yesterday visited the historic Texas Embassy in Paris and met with business executives and foreign officials to strengthen the economic partnership with France. Joined by Texas Economic Development and Tourism Executive Director Adriana Cruz and Texas Economic Development Corporation Board of Directors Vice Chairman Arun Agarwal, along with regional economic development organizations, this is the third stop in the economic development mission led by the First Lady and Secretary Nelson.
The First Lady, Secretary Nelson, Executive Director Cruz, Vice Chairman Agarwal, and members of the Texas delegation first visited the site of the former Texas Embassy at 1 Place Vendôme. The site is currently under renovation and will open this September as a new boutique hotel called 1 Place Vendôme. Following a history discussion of the site, First Lady Abbott gifted the hotel with a book about the Texas Hill Country as the first book for the hotel’s Texas-themed library and presented the hotel’s director with a Texas flag and proclamation honoring the rich history of the building, which served as the embassy for the Republic of Texas in Paris in 1842-1843.
First Lady Abbott, Secretary Nelson, Executive Director Cruz, Vice Chairman Agarwal, and the rest of the Texas delegation then attended a business lunch hosted by Mouvement des Entreprises de France (MEDEF) International, the U.S. Commercial Service in France, the U.S. Embassy of France, Consul General of France in Houston Valérie Baraban, and the Texas Economic Development Corporation at the George C. Marshall Center. Speaking to French business leaders and executives, the First Lady highlighted strong economic ties between Texas and France, pointing to France being the largest European destination for Texas LNG exports.
Following the lunch, First Lady Abbott, Secretary Nelson, Executive Director Cruz, Vice Chairman Agarwal, and the Texas delegation toured Schneider Electric’s Paris headquarters and met with its executives to discuss the future of data centers, energy, and industrial automation, as well as the latest expansion at the company’s manufacturing facility in El Paso, Texas.
The Texas delegation also virtually met with Schneider Electric employees in El Paso and virtually toured the El Paso facility. Additionally, First Lady Abbott presented Schneider Electric with a proclamation and a Texas flag flown over the Texas Capitol to celebrate the company’s 400 new jobs at the El Paso facility, their largest in the U.S.
In the evening, the First Lady, Secretary Nelson, Executive Director Cruz, and Vice Chairman Agarwal attended a cocktail reception hosted by MEDEF International, the Cercle France-Ameriques, Consul General Valérie Baraban, and Texas Economic Development Corporation. Also joining and providing remarks was Deputy Minister of Digital Affairs Jean Noel Barrot. During her remarks to over 100 French CEOs and business leaders, First Lady Abbott touted Texas’ world-class economy, reasonable regulatory climate, technology and innovation, and young, skilled, diverse, and growing workforce.
The trip is sponsored and paid for by the Texas Economic Development Corporation, an independently funded and operated 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization responsible for marketing and promoting Texas as a premier business location. Along with the Governor’s Office of Economic Development and Tourism, these two organizations make up the cornerstone of Governor Abbott’s economic development agenda to build the Texas of tomorrow.