The Queen City's all-star business ecosystem took center court as the City of Lights celebrated its first-ever regular-season National Basketball Association (NBA) game.
Business and sports leaders from the Charlotte, North Carolina Region made a play for international business investment at an economic development forum for European business executives in Paris.
The Charlotte Regional Business Alliance and the Charlotte Hornets, in partnership with the National Basketball Association (NBA) and Fortune 100 Companies Bank of America and Honeywell, hosted "The Ball is in Your Court: Doing Business in the Charlotte Region," a panel discussion to inform European business leaders about the Region's thriving international business community, which is ripe for foreign direct investment. NBA legend and Hornets majority owner Michael Jordan attended the event in support of his hometown.
"This is a great opportunity for the City of Charlotte to participate in a global event and highlight Charlotte's growth as a leading destination for forward-thinking and innovative companies," said Charlotte Mayor Vi Lyles. "Our region has a long and successful history with a number of international companies, including several European and French companies, which have added so much not only to our business environment, but also to the community and culture of what is one of the fastest-growing cities in the United States."
"Now that we've had sports franchises there, all the big corporations – banking community – all the people that are starting to come to Charlotte, now you see what Charlotte can actually be," said Jordan.
The economic development event tipped off with an introduction from Adam Silver, NBA Commissioner. Moderated by Rosalyn Durant, Senior Vice President of College Networks Programming at ESPN, the panel speakers included Janet LaBar, Charlotte Regional Business Alliance President & CEO and Fred Whitfield, Charlotte Hornets President & Vice Chairman, and business executives from two international Fortune 100 companies headquartered in Charlotte: Bruce Thompson, Vice Chairman, President EU & Switzerland, Bank of America, and Anne T. Madden, Senior Vice President and General Counsel for Honeywell.
"I can speak firsthand on how easy it is to do business in Charlotte. We had one of our most successful All-Star games ever in Charlotte last year," added Silver. "It's a fantastic community and we want to spread the word."
A global hub, the Charlotte Region boasts more than 1,000 internationally owned companies. The Charlotte Douglas International Airport (CLT) is the largest airport in the Carolinas and the 7th busiest airport in the world, offering more than 750 direct flights to 175 destinations including over 35 direct international flights to London, Frankfurt, Munich, Paris, Toronto and Mexico City.
The Charlotte Region is home to more than 700 European companies, which employ nearly 57,000 people throughout the community. Businesses headquartered in the Charlotte Region also have deep connections in key European hubs, including London, Paris and Germany. Bank of America recently added more than 300 employees to its Paris-based operation.
About the Charlotte Regional Business Alliance
The Charlotte Regional Business Alliance is a nonprofit, business-led organization focused on the economic health of the region. The Alliance's footprint encompasses the city of Charlotte and its surrounding 15 counties including 11 in North Carolina and four in South Carolina. The Alliance's mission is to enthusiastically collaborate to promote and advance the Charlotte region, creating opportunity, economic growth and prosperity for all. To learn more, go to charlotteregion.com
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