Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

City Gets Marketing Tips from Europeans; Consuls from France, the Netherlands, Spain and the U.K. Offer Help

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

City Gets Marketing Tips from Europeans; Consuls from France, the Netherlands, Spain and the U.K. Offer Help

Article excerpt

Byline: Timothy J. Gibbons

If Jacksonville is going to forge stronger business ties with Europe, it needs to do a better job shaping - and telling - its story, a group of European consuls told city and business leaders Thursday.

Those consuls - from France, the Netherlands, Spain and the United Kingdom - were in Jacksonville to celebrate European Unity Day and take the chance to learn a bit about Northeast Florida.

Most of the consulates in the Southeast are in Miami, but the group made the trip here to find out more about a part of Florida few of their countrymen think of when they think about the Sunshine State.

It's part of the job consuls are supposed to do, said French Consul General Gael de Maisonneuve - helping connect the countries they serve with the countries in which they are stationed.

To do that well, the group said, they have to understand the area.

"I need reasons, arguments, I can convey to Spanish companies about why they should look here," said Mario Buisan, the Spanish trade commissioner.

When trading partners across the ocean think about Florida, the cities of Orlando and Miami are the ones that come to mind. …

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