His visit will provide an opportunity to reaffirm the very strong relations between France and New Orleans - historic relations that are strengthened by very close cultural and linguistic ties. Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne will meet with the local authorities, notably including Mitch Landrieu, Mayor of New Orleans, upon whom he will bestow the Legion of Honor in recognition of his commitment to French language and culture and the fight against climate change.
The minister of state will discuss the program being implemented by the Council for the Development of French in Louisiana – which is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year -, the Louisiana Department of Education and France in order to improve the quality of French education provided to 70,000 French-speaking pupils and students in Louisiana. The program notably includes the exchange of teachers who bring their French language skills to the Louisiana education system while perfecting their English language skills so that they can teach English in elementary schools when they return to France. The program is consistent with the goals of the plan to promote the French language and multilingualism which President Macron presented on March 20.
The minister of state will also be accompanied by 23 fourth grade students from the Ecole Bilingue, one of the three accredited schools in New Orleans, during his visit to the French patrol vessel, La Résolue, as part of NOLA Navy Week.
He will then hold meetings with the French-American Chamber of Commerce of Louisiana and French firms operating in the region. Trade between France and Louisiana amounts to $1.3 billion and the established presence of French firms in the region (notably including Air Liquide, Total, CMA-CGM, Veolia-Transdev, Schlumberger, Louis Dreyfus, Technip, and Sodexo) accounts for 7,500 jobs.