France’s attractiveness [fr]
Communiqué issued following the Council of Ministers’ meeting
Paris, 28 May 2014
The Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development and the Minister of the Economy, Production Recovery and the Digital Sector made a statement on France’s attractiveness for foreign investments.
International rankings regularly confirm that France is one of the most attractive countries in Europe for investment, leading to the creation of many jobs. In addition to the country’s capacity for innovation, the rankings show that France’s main strengths are its excellent industrial sectors, numerous world-class companies, tradition of creativity and inventiveness, ability to train and attract talent, and energy independence.
These results are an incentive for the government to continue the policy it is conducting to restore the country’s attractiveness for the benefit of employment and growth. They show that the decisions taken are beginning to bear fruit: the Pact for Growth, Competitiveness and Employment; the future investment plan; the creation of the BPI [Public Investment Bank]; the agreement on job security; the decree to reform vocational training; the 34 sectorial plans for the New Industrial France; the efforts to structure [industrial] sectors; the competitiveness and employment tax credit; the priority given to economic diplomacy and the creation of a major “international cluster” within the government bringing together foreign affairs, foreign trade and tourism.
Most of these measures are operational; they must be continued and extended. The Responsibility and Solidarity Pact will further improve companies’ cost competitiveness, a crucial element in France’s attractiveness as a location. Reducing taxes to support companies, reducing corporation tax rates, lowering payroll deductions in order to reward work better, simplifying the lives of companies and modernizing social dialogue are tasks which are under way and particularly long-awaited by economic decision-makers.
These macroeconomic measures must contribute to a general state of mind that is more favourable towards entrepreneurs and their international development, and therefore to growth and employment.
Regardless of the clichés which persist, in a competitive environment France must remember it is a country at the heart of Europe, open to the world, competitive and innovative, which has embarked on restoring its public finances to a sound footing through structural reforms to support its competitiveness and bolster its attractiveness.
A special effort will be made when it comes to attracting investment from the major emerging countries by stepping up, as a matter of priority, exploration of those countries’ markets, which will be helped by the merging of the Invest in France Agency (AFII) and the French Agency for International Business Development (UBIFRANCE), and by proactively promoting France as a place to do business.
In the next few months the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development and the Minister of State attached to the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development, responsible for Foreign Trade, the Promotion of Tourism and French Nationals Abroad, will be fully engaged in making [investment] attractiveness a priority of embassies and the diplomatic network, special representatives, those coordinating the priority export groups (better health, a better urban lifestyle, better communication, better eating, better leisure time, better travelling) (1), but also all France’s semi-public and private networks abroad./.
(1) In order to tailor its offer most effectively to foreign demand, France is focusing on sectors where there will be high demand worldwide in the future and has developed a strategy whereby these sectors are grouped under the listed headings.