PM Manuel Valls and John Chambers (Cisco CEO)
18 February 2015

Partnership between the State and Cisco: the American CEO who chose France

"The Government is far more attentive. I can feel it has reached something of a turning point just now", John Chambers, CEO of network equipment world leader Cisco, explained during an interview on French channel BFM TV. The company signed a partnership with the French Government on Monday 16 February. The Prime Minister Manuel Valls was happy about the signing of the agreement, which represents a development opportunity and an avenue for growth, competitiveness and employment for France.

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Prime Minister Manuel Valls met with John Chambers, Chief Executive Officer of American company Cisco, on Monday 16 January and together the pair approved the framework of a partnership between the American company and the French Government.


Cisco to invest $100 million
in French start-ups

The partnership is designed to achieve three goals:

  • Cooperation in the field of education and vocational training for digital network-based roles, with the aim of training 200,000 people over the course of three years and funding a number of Chairs of Excellence.

  • The implementation of a 'smart city' pilot project in a French city and the trialling of new ways of digitally accessing public services, particularly in rural areas.

  • Support for digital innovation through some $100 million worth of investment in French start-ups on the part of Cisco.

The Prime Minister was happy about the signing of the agreement, which "represents a development opportunity and an avenue for growth, competitiveness and employment for the country".
This partnership also represents an opportunity for Cisco, as the world leader in network equipment. "France is changing, and now is the time to invest", the company's CEO declared, according to daily newspaper Le Monde. "We are investing over two billion dollars in businesses, so we have significant expertise in this field", he explained.
The reform measures driven by the Government and the dynamism of French start-ups are what really won over the American company. "My money is on France", John Chambers declared, who, according to BFM TV, was also receptive to the strong presence of French businesses attending the 2015 International CES in Las Vegas under the French Tech label. 160 businesses, including 66 start-ups, were in fact represented at the event, making it the largest European delegation and the fifth largest overall. The French delegation came away with no fewer than 23 awards, including 16 of the most prestigious accolades, which notably went to the connected watch, T-shirt and belt, the 360° camera and the smart home studio.