Mayor – News – March 2022 Leave a comment

NEW ORLEANS – The City of New Orleans today announced that officials from the Cantrell Administration will participate in the weeklong Americas Competitiveness Exchange (ACE) conference from March 26 through April 1. The conference includes more than 40 separate events in New Orleans, Baton Rouge, Lafayette, and the Acadiana region.

“Economic development remains a top priority of my administration and we will continue to partner with business leaders and community members to increase economic opportunities in New Orleans,” said Mayor LaToya Cantrell. “Our city has a strong legacy of foreign investment, from the natural advantages of the Port of New Orleans for international trade to the recent billion-dollar acquisition of home-grown tech company Lucid by Swedish-owned Cint Group, and the recently announced merger between the World Trade Center and our regional economic development partner, GNO, Inc. Our economic development opportunities are virtually limitless, and I am excited to showcase them during the ACE international conference.”

The ACE conference will feature ambassadors, government officials, academics, Chief Executive Officers and entrepreneurs from more than 20 countries throughout the western hemisphere. The conference’s goal is to forge business relationships and explore trade and investment opportunities in Louisiana. This is the first time the ACE conference has been hosted in Louisiana since the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA), in coordination with the U.S. Department of State and the Organization of American States (OAS), launched the program in 2014.

“New Orleans has demonstrated time and again that it is an economic powerhouse, not just in Louisiana but in the region as well,” said Jeff Schwartz, Director of Economic Development. “Between the strength of our traditional core industries and the growth of our emerging opportunity industries, we are leading with innovation and investing in a strong workforce that can compete globally. We look forward to showcasing what New Orleans can do and why we are an ideal choice for international investment over the course of this conference.”

The weeklong itinerary will showcase the state’s economic resilience, reflected in five consecutive years of capital investment growth even as the pandemic severely disrupted global supply chain economics. Delegates will meet with leaders from established and emerging economic sectors – from energy, advanced manufacturing and agribusiness to software development, healthcare innovation and water management and more.

Several City staff members will present remarks and information during the week-long event, including Mayor Cantrell, Jeff Schwartz and Courtney Stuckwisch Wong from the Office of Economic Development, Film Director of New Orleans Carroll Morton, Director of Aviation Kevin Dolliole, Nicole Heyman from the Office of Community Assets and Investment, Brenda Breaux of the New Orleans Redevelopment Authority (NORA), Sunae Villavaso of the Office of Workforce Development and Lisa Alexis of the Office of Cultural Economy.

Two local organizations will host sessions that highlight New Orleans’ economic competitiveness and technological capabilities. The Port of New Orleans will demonstrate its groundbreaking “SmartPort” initiative aimed at introducing cutting-edge digital technology to Louisiana’s waterborne commerce. Additionally, the New Orleans BioInnovation Center and BioDistrict will host a discussion about the expansion of the life sciences sector throughout the area and state.


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