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Mayor Touts Economic Development and Tourism on Overseas Trip

Friday July 1, 2005

Mayor Jerry Abramson leaves tomorrow for Louisville’s sister city, Montpellier, France, where he will meet with economic and tourism leaders to pitch Louisville as an international destination for business or pleasure. There are currently more than 50 Louisville-affiliated companies conducting business in France.

Abramson also will present his business-development message to mayors from China, Germany, Ghana, Israel and Spain at an economic summit, which is a component of the 50th anniversary celebration of Louisville’s sister-city partnership with Montpellier.
 
“This is a chance to promote our hometown on the international stage,” said Abramson. “It’s also a chance to thank Montpellier for partnering with us in education, trade and tourism.”

A representative from the University of Louisville and leaders of the Greater Louisville Convention and Visitor’s Bureau will accompany Abramson. He will also meet with 13 U of L students who are taking advantage of an exchange program with Montpellier.
 
Sister Cities of Louisville is a non-profit program that has helped create economic development opportunities and goodwill around the globe. Louisville companies now do business with enterprises in Russia, Germany and Ghana as a result of the program’s efforts.

After Abramson’s visit to Montpellier, he will travel to Verona, Italy, where he will meet with representatives from Brown-Forman Corporation. The Louisville-based company operates Bolla Wineries in Verona. Abramson plans to meet with city leaders there to begin discussions about formalizing a sister-city relationship with Louisville.

“I look forward to seeing, in person, the international operations of a hometown company. It’s my hope that this trip will continue this type of overseas development and expansion,” said Abramson.
 
Sister Cities of Louisville, which is paying for the trip, recently organized a similar trade mission to Leeds, England. As a direct result, a major Louisville-based company is considering opening an international office in that city to pursue business opportunities.

Abramson will return to Louisville on Sunday, July 10.