DALLAS--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings and Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price announced today they will be leading a trade mission June 17-22 to London, Paris and Brussels to promote economic development, business opportunities and tourism throughout the DFW region.
The mission’s delegates will be meeting with government officials, business executives and local leaders to showcase the benefits of operating in DFW and the growing economic and commercial ties among the United Kingdom, Europe and the Texas cities.
North Texas is an international business and tourism hub, and a top U.S. metropolitan area for business expansions, relocations and growth. The U.K. and France combined are the largest foreign investors in Texas, with $6.7 billion in capital expenditures from 2011-2016, according to the latest figures from the governor’s office.
“The Dallas-Fort Worth region is the ideal location to grow and develop international businesses,” Rawlings said. “As a hub of innovation and diversity, we look to strengthen the already deep connections North Texas has with our global partners.”
A thriving entrepreneurial ecosystem, the Dallas-Fort Worth region fosters business growth and expansion. From large corporations to small startups, entrepreneurs from every background can find a home in what has become one of the nation’s most attractive areas.
Price said, “These trips are vital when it comes to building our business markets and fostering professional relationships. With a positive, pro-business climate, talented workforce, strong economy and a great location, the DFW region is a great place to do business or visit.”
About 200 British-owned companies operate U.S. or North American headquarters and other facilities in the Dallas and Fort Worth region, including Barclays, BT Global Services and Smith & Nephew. About 120 French companies operate in North Texas, as well. Those include Airbus Helicopters, Nestlé Waters and Schneider Electric.
In the last year and half alone, seven U.K.-based firms and three French-based companies have established new U.S. or North American headquarters, manufacturing, office or other facilities in the DFW region. Those companies include BAE Systems, Smith & Nephew and Zinwave from the U.K., and Airbus Helicopters, L’Oreal and Louis Vuitton from France.
In 2017, the U.K. was DFW’s 11th largest export market at $706 million and its 8th largest import market at $1.5 billion. France is the region’s 15th largest export market at $446.6 million and its 10th largest import market at $1.23 billion.
The mission also will be emphasizing the role that international flights through DFW Airport play in bridging North Texas and the U.K. and France. The United Kingdom is DFW’s No. 1 source for overseas visitors. Also, bilateral trade with London and Paris is made possible through direct flights from DFW Airport.
“Business continues to grow in Texas, with more headquarters citing DFW Airport as one of the top reasons for relocating to the Dallas-Fort Worth region,” said Sean Donohue, CEO of DFW Airport and a member of the delegation. “We’re anticipating a record 73 million customers over the next 12 months, and we continue to work with our airline partners to provide more opportunities to enable commerce and connect people and cargo.”
Other delegates include regional business leaders and others from DFW International Airport, the Dallas Regional Chamber, the Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce, VisitDallas and Visit Fort Worth.
Besides touting regional business investments and tourism, the mayors will be sharing and hearing from their counterparts the results of innovative, urban mobility ideas that have flourished in the U.K., France and the DFW region.
Also, members of the delegation and a dozen U.K. executives will be taking part in the International Business Roundtable to network and promote expanded economic opportunities between the two counties.
A dozen students from Southern Methodist University will be at the event as part of a business and entrepreneurial study abroad program.
In London, other meetings are planned with:
- Lord Mayor Charles Bowman, the leader of the City of London Corporation, which is the municipal governing body of the City of London.
- Rajesh Agarwal, the deputy mayor of London for business, who chairs the promotional company for London.
- Executives with British Airways.
- Executives with U.K.-based Digital Shadows, a cyber security company that recently opened a new office in Dallas.
- The ministry of state for Europe and the Americas.
- Executives with Crossrail, which is developing a high-speed train running under central London.
The mission also will promote tourism between Dallas-Fort Worth and the U.K. British travel media and tour operators will experience the sounds, sites and tastes of the region at a special reception. Dallas-based band Castro, the Dallas Moving Cities art installation and a virtual reality experience. Representing Fort Worth, chef Tim Love designed the menu, and distiller Leonard Firestone will be on hand to discuss his TX Whiskey and Whiskey Ranch.
In Paris, meetings are planned with:
- Executives with Air France.
- The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), which seeks to encourage economic progress and world trade.
- Executives with Louis Vuitton, who announced plans last fall to establish a new workshop in the DFW region.
The final leg of the mission will include meetings at the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) in Brussels. The delegation, including the mayors, will tour NATO headquarters and meet with the U.S. Permanent Representative to NATO, Ambassador Kay Bailey Hutchison of Dallas. A former U.S. senator from Texas, she has extensive international experience, focusing on the importance of transatlantic relationships.