April 12, 2024

Pelican Post – Online Newspaper
Ascension Parish Online Newspaper

On Wednesday, Gov. John Bel Edwards will lead a delegation of business and state leaders on an economic development mission to London. The delegation includes representatives from Louisiana Economic Development, the Louisiana Offshore Terminal Authority, the Port of New Orleans, the Port of South Louisiana, and the Committee of 100 for Economic Development, Inc. The governor will meet with high-ranking executives of major energy companies and the world’s leading insurance underwriter about current economic conditions and potential future foreign direct investments in Louisiana. He will return to Louisiana Monday, October 3.
In the days leading up to the trip, Gov. Edwards has received constant updates on any potential threats to Louisiana from Hurricane Ian. He has held calls and zoom meetings with the National Weather Service, the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness and state agencies for the latest updates.  GOHSEP and other State agencies stand ready to offer assistance to any of our neighboring states who may need help. Gov. Edwards will continue to receive updates while traveling.
Following his arrival Thursday morning in London, the governor will join the delegation for an afternoon of meetings with Lloyd’s of London to explore a broad range of insurance-related topics. Louisiana is currently experiencing serious insurance issues. Lloyd’s of London is the world’s leading insurance marketplace.  Among the planned topics of discussion: current factors affecting insurance and reinsurance protection for companies doing business in Louisiana; legislative and regulatory changes that would improve the state’s attractiveness to insurers and reinsurers; and how the risk modeling utilized in Lloyd’s insurance marketplace impacts the state.
“I am excited to be able to capitalize on this opportunity to represent Louisiana’s economic and cultural interests on the world stage,” Gov. Edwards said. “Few states are more directly impacted by the insurance underwriting and energy markets than Louisiana, which is why it’s so important to maintain an open dialogue with global leaders in those sectors. Thousands of Louisianans are not only still recovering from damage caused by devastating storms, but they are also dealing with unpaid claims, insurance companies folding, and problems finding new insurance coverage. We must find a way to solve this crisis.  I’m also looking forward to establishing new partnerships and increasing awareness about Louisiana’s energy transition leadership and rapidly diversifying economy.”
Friday will feature a series of meetings with companies managing major energy transition investments in Louisiana. The governor is scheduled to meet with top executives of Shell about its expanding portfolio of clean energy investments, including the conversion of its old Convent oil refinery to a renewable fuel plant. He will also meet with Cheniere Energy, the No. 1 liquefied natural gas producer in the U.S., about LNG market changes and what they mean for its Sabine Pass facility in Louisiana. He will meet with Linde, which merged with Praxair in 2018, about the shift to sustainability in its approach to industrial gas production and engineering. And he will meet with Drax, a renewable power generation company in the UK, about its wood pellet production operations in Louisiana.
“The importance of these kinds of face-to-face meetings between the leaders of our state and the leaders of these major global corporations cannot be overstated,” said Don Pierson, Secretary of Louisiana Economic Development. “Private sector investors want engaged public sector partners who will support them over the long term. The presence of Gov. Edwards, the members of C100 and the other economic leaders in London this week demonstrate why Louisiana has been the No. 1 state for per capita foreign direct investment for 10 years in a row.”
“The London mission is an ideal opportunity for the Committee of 100, Louisiana’s Business Roundtable, to assist the state government’s efforts to attract business and industry to Louisiana,” said Michael Olivier, CEO of the Committee of 100. “This kind of private sector engagement adds an important business-to-business element to the economic development process. We look forward to giving global investors the opportunity to hear from Louisiana business leaders directly about the pro-business climate in our state.”
Gov. Edwards also will visit with business leaders and British dignitaries at Tottenham Stadium Sunday, when the New Orleans Saints play the Minnesota Vikings in the nationally televised 2022 premiere of the NFL’s annual International Series.
This is Gov. Edwards’ third international trip of his second term and sixth of his governorship. His most recent trip was a weeklong resiliency and economic development mission to the Netherlands and France.
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