John Chambers, President Macron and Minister Mahjoubi
24 January 2018

Choose France summit: €3 billion in foreign investment over the next five years

140 business leaders from multinationals in various sectors are getting involved in large-scale investment projects, on the occasion of the Choose France summit to promote France’s attractiveness, which was held in Versailles on 22 January 2018.

The summit to promote France’s attractiveness was held in the presence of the President of the Republic, the Prime Minister and 15 members of the Government. The investment projects of participating businesses have been announced in numerous territories and sectors, reflecting the wealth and diversity of the French economic fabric, with industries including automotive, digital, artificial intelligence, pharmaceuticals, agrifood and electronics.

In total, nearly €3.5 billion will be invested and 2,200 jobs will be potentially created over five years, across all territories.

Five major investment projects:

  1. Toyota has announced the investment of €300 million at its Onnaing (Valenciennes) plant, which will create 800 jobs by 2020 (700 permanent and 100 temporary posts).
  2. SAP (software firm) will invest €2 billion over five years to finance and support start-ups and R&D projects aiming to tackle climate change and develop artificial intelligence (AI).
  3. Facebook will invest €10 million to double the size of its French AI laboratory, making it the largest in the world alongside the one in New York. In addition, the company will train 65,000 people in digital skills: 50,000 people who are out of work and 15,000 women under the SheMeansBusiness programme.
  4. Google has also announced it will invest in AI research, with the opening of a fundamental research facility, and in digital skills training, with the opening of four "Digital Workshops" around France.
  5. Novartis has acquired a French biotech start-up for €3.5 billion and will invest €900 million in France over three years.

Other investments have been secured, in particular by Manpower and General Mills, and John Chambers (former Cisco CEO) has been appointed as French Tech’s ambassador, on a voluntary basis.

Three new measures to make France more attractive

  1. The creation of international commercial chambers within the Paris Court of Appeal and Commercial Court, as of 1st March 2018, so that contracts made in English law, for example, can be adjudicated in France, supported by translation facilities.
  2. Increased international education provision with a target of 1,000 school places from the beginning of the 2018 academic year in the Ile de France (Paris) region through the opening of an international secondary school in Courbevoie and the development of existing hubs.
  3. Temporary exemption from old-age pension insurance for qualified expatriates will make it possible to reduce labour costs in order to attract a skilled workforce.

These announcements are the result of the competitiveness of our businesses and also of the policy undertaken by the Government to promote France’s attractiveness.


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