• France's news in English

Global execs to air views on France to Hollande

Ben McPartland · 17 Feb 2014, 11:46

Published: 17 Feb 2014 08:42 GMT+01:00
Updated: 17 Feb 2014 11:46 GMT+01:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

The heads of 34 foreign companies will be welcomed at the Elysée Palace on Monday where they will get a chance to air their views to the French president about the state of France and how it can pull in more foreign investment, which recent figures show has plummeted.

Chief executives from giants like General Electric, Intel, Kingfisher, Nestlé, Samsung and Siemens have been invited to the Elysée for a summit under the title of "Strategic Council for Attractiveness".

With the global companies, worth a combined total of around €850 billion and employing three million employees, including 100,000 in France, it is no wonder Hollande wants to seduce them and hear their views.

There will also be 11 government ministers at the talks, including Arnaud Montebourg, the minister for industrial renewal and Nicole Bricq, who is the minister for foreign trade.

SEE ALSO: France must sell itself to US firms or lose out

Everything will be up for discussion, including France’s tax and social legislation, which might provide the subject of one of the livelier discussions on Monday.

“There will be some complicated issues, but the principle is to have a debate where there are no taboos,” a source at the Elysée told Le Figaro.

The Local reported earlier this month that figures in a United Nations report showed France saw a 77-percent decline in direct foreign investment in 2013, while the global average was an 11-percent increase.

France's results were the worst in the European Union, according to the United Nations Conference on Trade Development report

The decline meant $5.7 billion (€4.2 billion) less invested in France as the country battles stubbornly high unemployment which, at 11.1 percent, is at an historic level.

Following Monday's summit, Hollande is expected to announce various measures at making France more welcoming to international companies and investors.

It is the latest move in Hollande’s battle to woo the world of business and comes after he announced his much-vaunted “responsibility pact” that will aim to create thousands of jobs by cutting payroll charges for companies.

The conference began on Sunday night, when the Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault held an informal dinner with the business leaders so they could “share their wealth of experience”.

“Investment is and was from the outset a priority of my government,” Ayrault said, according to Europe1.

“My ambition is that France is at the forefront of any great changes in the world," he added.

Ben McPartland (ben.mcpartland@thelocal.com)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
France to clear 'Jungle' migrant camp Monday
Migrants will be bussed from the camp to some 300 temporary accommodation centres around France. Photo: Denis Charlet/ AFP

The "Jungle" migrant camp on France's northern coast will be cleared of its residents on Monday before being demolished, authorities said Friday.

How life for expats in France has changed over the years
A market in Eymet, southwestern France. Photo: AFP

Foreigners in France explain how life has changed over the years.

London calling for Calais youths, but only a chosen few
Photo: AFP

Dozens of Calais minors are still hanging their hopes on help from the UK, but not all will be so lucky.

17 different ways to talk about sex in French
Photo: Helga Weber/Flickr

Fancy a quick run with the one-legged man?

Yikes! This is what a rat-infested French jail looks like
Photo: YouTube/France Bleu TV.

This video is not for sufferers of ratophobia (or musophobia as the condition is officially called).

France to allow Baby Jesus in Town Halls this Christmas
Photo: AFP

Mary, Joseph, and baby Jesus are safe to go on display again this year, it seems.

National Front posts locations of migrants in French town
The National Front courts controversy. Photo: AFP

"Local tax payers have a right to know," says local far-right party chief.

Paris thieves use tear gas to steal €500,000 of watches
Photo: AFP

The thieves pretended to be couriers then threatened staff with tear gas to get the watches.

Bataclan survivor recounts attack in chilling drawings
Photo: BFMTV screengrab

One survivor has recounted the horrific night through illustrations.

Anger among French police grows as Hollande vows talks
French police demonstrate on the Champs Elysées. Photo: AFP

A fourth night of protests shows government efforts to ease anger among French police have been fruitless.

Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
Why Toulouse is THE place to be in France right now
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Video: New homage to Paris shows the 'real side' of city
The 'most dangerous' animals you can find in France
Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
Swap London fogs for Paris frogs: France woos the Brits
Anger after presenter kisses woman's breasts on live TV
Is France finally set for a cold winter this year?
IN PICS: The story of the 'ghost Metro stations' of Paris
How to make France's 'most-loved' dish: Magret de Canard
Welcome to the flipside: 'I'm not living the dream in France'
Do the French really still eat frogs' legs?
French 'delicacies' foreigners really find hard to stomach
French are the 'world's most pessimistic' about the future
Why the French should not be gloomy about the future
This is the most useful French lesson you will ever have. How to get angry
Why is there a giant clitoris in a field in southern France?
French pastry wars: Pain au chocolat versus chocolatine
Countdown: The ten dishes the French love the most
Expats or immigrants in France: Is there a difference?
How the French reinvented dozens of English words
The ups and downs of being both French and English
How Brexit vote has changed life for expats in France
Twelve French insults we'd love to have in English
What's on in France: Ten of the best events in October
jobs available