INTERNATIONAL TRADE MEETING
MAY 11, 2012
The City of Ville Platte and Chamber of Commerce Friday sponsored a meeting for businesses and industry to discuss export opportunities with Phillippe Gustin, , Vanessa Parades and Christophe Pilut all with the Le Centre International de Lafayette.
Senator Eric Lafleur welcomed the group of businesses in attendance. He stated that Codofil, Council for the Development of French in Louisiana, has recently been revamped in its mission: they continue to preserve and promote our French Language culture and they have been authorized to begin marketing a website to promote French Louisiana products and services. Those companies that meet the conditions will receive a Codofil mark to place on their label to certify their product comes from Louisiana.
Lafleur remarked that he represents the largest French speaking district in Louisiana. There are currently 12 French speaking law makers in the state legislature. He announced that a new international school will soon open on the ULL campus in Lafayette. One of the requisites to attend the school, a student must be bilingual. The school will focus on tourism and petrochemical courses.
Those in attendance viewed a short film from Congressman Charles Boustany who announced that a new trade agreement creating the International Trade Coalition that is comprised of the 12 parish area in South West Louisiana including Evangeline Parish.
Gustin and his associates with the Le Centre International explained the benefits of exporting products and services to other countries. He said there are federal Step grant reimbursement funds to market in China and other countries.
Among the local businesses who spoke were Kermit Miller with Jack Miller with American Inn, Evangeline Parish County Agent Keith Fontenot, Mark Suelentrop with Cabot, Larry Lachney with Papa Gators. Joe Willy Walker with Slap Ya Mama, Floyd Soileau with Floyd’s Record Shop . Gilbert Winky Aucoin with Louisiana Folk Roots and Mark Layne with KVPI.
The group is planning to work on having an Evangeline Parish Trade Show in Canada or some other country in the next two years to sell their products and