REMARK. France more attractive

France is therefore not doing so badly. In any case better than many grumpy minds say. Otherwise, how to explain that groups as different as the German chemist BASF or the American Eastman have chosen to invest in France.

And this trend, which began several years ago, is confirmed. According to the annual EY barometer, France was in 2019 and 2020 the most attractive European country for foreign investment. Our country needs it as the industrial fabric has disintegrated over the past forty years. However, this classification must be put into perspective. The numbers are very political. If we take job creation into account, last year Germany was ahead of France. This beginning of the year is also marked by the announcement of the 25th French unicorn, these start-ups valued at more than a billion dollars. The start-up nation is not just a slogan.

It was as a Republican monarch, under the gold of the Palace of Versailles that the President of the Republic should have announced a new burst of investments: 21 for a total of 10,000 jobs created. Covid obliges, he had to give it up.

France continues to benefit from advantages in international competition: electricity at a competitive cost for industrialists thanks to nuclear power. In addition, there are good quality road and rail infrastructures. Finally, large groups also appreciate the tax incentives linked to the research tax credit.

Boost mid-cap companies

The shift initiated in the middle of François Hollande’s five-year term in favor of an economic policy of supply shows its relevance. A revival by consumption often favored in the past has shown the limits of a misinterpreted Keynesian theory. Widening the trade deficit. It is now a question of rebuilding an industrial policy and taking advantage of the disruptions linked to the ecological and digital transition to expand the areas of excellence of the French economy.

Weak points remain with a level of range that “remains lower than that of British, German, Dutch or Italian exports”, recalls the Court of Auditors. In this memo entitled Adapt industrial policy to new challenges , the magistrates wonder about the policies conducted by the major French groups listed on the Cac 40. “Internationalization strategies, unlike other European countries, do not favor the production of goods from France while small and medium-sized enterprises and mid-sized companies are struggling to develop. »

The industry is again a subject of shared interest. And that’s great news. But there will be no reconquest without boosting mid-sized companies (1). Between 2009 and 2015, large groups destroyed 80,000 jobs while medium-sized companies created 337,000. They constitute the Achilles’ heel of the French economy. France has twice as many as the United Kingdom. However, they occupy an essential place because they are often located outside metropolitan areas. Their number is increasing: 134 more since 2017. This is better but still insufficient to reduce territorial fractures.

(1) ETIs include companies with between 250 and 5,000 employees for a turnover of between 60 million euros and 1.5 billion euros.


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