ROSS REILY: This has nothing to do with Downton Abbey
by Ross Reily
Published: July 17,2014
So, Her Majesty’s Consul General in Atlanta Jeremy Pilmore-Bedford was breezing through Mississippi last week and decided to make a stop at the Mississippi Business Journal.
It wasn’t that long ago that the Consul General from Canada Stephen Brereton came by and visited with us, but somehow it feels a little different when you’re handed a business card for someone working for “Her Majesty”.
The Consul General for any country spends time promoting trade. When Brereton visited, he made a point of noting that Canada was Mississippi’s most polific trading parter.
This time, Pilmore-Bedford made sure to point out that Great Britain is America’s most prolific trade partner and that the U.K. is looking for ways to increase trade between the U.K. and Mississippi.
While in Jackson, Pilmore-Bedford met with Gov. Phil Bryant, Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves, a representative from MDA’s Trade Office and other state officials. He also toured the construction of Mississippi Power’s Kemper County energy facility to learn about carbon capture technology. The U.K. has two similar pilot projects in North Yorkshire and Aberdeen, Scotland, and is closely watching construction of the Kemper County facility.
Pilmore-Bedford, a lifelong diplomat, has only been on the job in Atlanta since late last year, therefore he is still learning a lot about the South.
On this trip the Mississippi Development Authority helped steer his visit as it wants to promote a long-term growth, job creation and the internationalization of the state’s economy.
Pilmore-Bedford had many nice things to say about Mississippi, its people, workforce, education and general hospitality of the state.
But if you’re wondering what sticks out most about his trip to Mississippi, there are three things.
First, as you might expect, Pilmore-Bedford is more than flattering when it comes to Bryant and Mississippi. He notes that Mississippi is “a very business friendly state as is most of the South, but Mississippi goes above and beyond.”
Secondly, he says the most asked question on his tour of the Magnolia State is how does he like fried food in Mississippi?
“Fine, thank you,” is his reply.
Lastly, other that business issues and pointing out Great Britain’s largest corporations that do business in America, Pilmore-Bedford says the single largest misconception of Mississippians about Great Britain is that life there is somehow just like it was in the PBS drama “Downton Abbey.”
I’m not sure there is anything there really to learn except from that other thant there a lot of us that can’t wait for the Season 4.
Contact Mississippi Business Journal editor Ross Reily at firstname.lastname@example.org or (601) 364-1018
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