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Global execs to air views on France to Hollande

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Global execs to air views on France to Hollande
Hollande will meet with heads of internional firms on Monday. Photo: AFP
08:42 CET+01:00
The French president will welcome the heads of over 30 foreign companies to the Elysée Palace on Monday in order to hear their views on how to make France more attractive to foreign investors. All subjects including tax laws, will be up for discussion.

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.

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