Thursday, 21st September 2023

France opens its doors to foreign investors

By Ngozi Egenuka
30 May 2023   |   12:51 am
While explaining that the country has, for the fourth consecutive years, emerged first place in foreign investment projects in Europe, France has called for more investors to come and invest.

[FILES] Emmanuel Macron (Photo by Ludovic MARIN / AFP)

While explaining that the country has, for the fourth consecutive years, emerged first place in foreign investment projects in Europe, France has called for more investors to come and invest.

In a statement, Advisor to the French President on export and trade policies, Victoire Vandeville, said since 2019, France has also been labeled the most attractive country for foreign investment in Europe by internationally recognised EY Attractiveness Barrometer, due to the new measures it put in place.

Speaking on the just concluded Sixth ‘Choose France Summit’, an initiative of the president, Emmanuel Macron, themed ‘Investing in a Sustainable Future’, she said the forum is a flagship event for economic attractiveness.

She added that it is part of Macron’s pro-business agenda to increase the nation’s competitiveness. The summit showcased the French innovation ecosystem, by introducing 10 startups, which have emerged from it. The French Tech ecosystem, which now comprises over 22,000 startups, a number that has doubled in five years, has benefitted from reforms set up in 2014 to facilitate corporate life and encourage investment in innovation.

Some 1,900 of the 22,000 French startups include an industrial component. They help in job-creating production capabilities in France. Such startups include Verkor, which produces batteries for electric vehicles and HyPrSpace, which specialises in space micro-launchers. The two innovative companies received financial support from “France 2030”.

The “France 2030” investment plan in its component dedicated to startups and industrial SMEs supports the ambition of these businesses. The objective, which will involve the creation of 100 new innovative industrial sites per year by 2030 drives this momentum.

“By developing breakthrough innovations, our startups are also helping to tackle the ecological transition challenge. France has almost 2,200 cleantech companies. Like Inocel, almost a quarter of them offer solutions based on the use of new energies, storage or optimisation capabilities and reduction of our energy consumption.

“One cleantech in five contributes to the greening of the industry by proposing new, more virtuous processes. This is true of Carbios, which completes the list of featured companies.

“To respond to the challenges of our times, we must further promote research and speed up its transfer to the socio-economic world. Thus, government support for startups leading to breakthrough innovations aims to nurture 500 new startups from research laboratories each year until 2030.

According to her, since 2017, France has conducted gradual reduction of corporate taxes, from 33 per cent to 25 per cent. “With this new rate, we are now in line with the taxation of our major European neighbors. We have reduced tax burden on capital, with the introduction of a single flat rate tax of 30 per cent on capital income. Production taxes have also been reduced.

“We cut down red tape for companies with many simplification measures. We modernised the French labour market with the Labour Ordinances of 2017. President Macron also achieved a reform in the unemployment insurance system last month.

“Foreign companies will reveal their news investments in France. We are confident that the volume of total investment announced will be a record. In 2018, we announced a total investment of 2 billion euros. In 2019, it was 600 million euros. 2020, it was 1.8 billion euros. In 2021, we reached 3.6 billion euros investment at the summit. 2022 was different because of COVID-19. We had two different editions that raised to a top ever 10.8 billion euros invested in France,” she explained.