• France's news in English

France is the future, says boss of US tech giant

Ben McPartland · 8 Oct 2015, 15:38

Published: 08 Oct 2015 15:38 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Just days ago critics and commentators the world over were lambasting France for being stuck in the past after images of Air France execs having their shirts ripped off by angry workers made headlines around the globe.

Even the French president François Hollande accepted it was bad for the country’s image as it desperately tries to present itself as a safe home for foreign investors and entrepreneurs.

But there was far better news on Thursday when John Chambers, boss of US multinational tech giant Cisco had only positive words to say about the country and in particular it’s thriving start up scene that will "change all lives".

“I believe in this country. France is on the point of profoundly transforming itself,” Chambers told Europe 1 radio.

“We understand market trends. They followed us when we went to India and China and I think that France is the future and other entrepreneurs will follow,” he said.

“I have the impression of seeing Silicon Valley in France,” said Chambers, who was in Paris to open the Cisco Innovation Research Lab in Paris along with the country’s economy minister Emmanuel Macron

Chambers announced that Cisco was to double its planned €100 million investment in start-ups in France next year to €200million, that reflects around 10 percent of the company’s overall investment around the world.

Although it is unclear for now where and how that money will be invested.

Chambers is not just any company boss. He heads one of the biggest companies in Silicon Valley – which designs and sells networking technology. Cisco is worth around €50 billion dollars.

But he believes France is the leading country in the EU for start-ups right now.

“The French government understood what was happening a year ago. It hit us that the politicians in charge of France understood better that all the others the digital revolution that is underway,” said Chambers.

“Germany the United Kingdom, all these countries are following in France’s footsteps.”

“You have a government that understands the big changes that are taking place in the world, a government that’s very pragmatic,” said Chambers.

“There’s a generation of French start-ups that will profoundly transform our way of lives,” he added.

Chamber's bigging up of France made such an impression on Thursday that at one point his name was trending near the top of Twitter in France as was the name of his company.

That was in part due to the fact his ode to France was gobbled up by the French press, who are always eager to hear what US and British leaders have to say about the state of the country.

Story continues below…



However for once there was no sign of the French bashing they have come to expect.


Ben McPartland (ben.mcpartland@thelocal.com)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
French MPs vote to make Airbnb 'professionals' pay tax
Photo: AFP

Do you make a lot of money through Airbnb in France? You'll have to pay a share to the taxman in future.

France and Britain accused of abandoning Calais minors
Photo: AFP

Scores of young migrants are forced to sleep rough for a second night.

France given wake up call as it bids for Brexit business
The business district 'La Defense' in Paris. Photo: AFP

France clearly has some work to do if it really wants to pinch business from the UK post-Brexit.

Mouth fun? French words you just can't translate literally
Do you know the French word for throat-support? Photo: AFP

Word of warning: Don't translate French literally.

How France plans to help its stressed-out police force
Yellow smoke rises around French police officers in Paris holding a banner reading "Solidarity with our colleagues, police angry". All photos: AFP

Could these measures stop the cops from protesting?

'3,000 migrants dispersed' after 'Jungle' clearance
Photo: AFP

While thousands of migrants have been bussed out around France, new ones are arriving all the time and thousands of others have simply been dispersed aid agencies say.

Fifteen of the most bizarre laws in France
Photo: Matthew Powell/Flickr

A must read for anyone who wants to stay on the right side of the law in France.

Medieval town in south of France upholds ban on UFOs
The town of Châteauneuf-du-Pape. Photo: Aa77zz/Flickr

Aliens take note.

American tourist dies at French Riviera sex club
The Riviera resort of Cannes. Photo: AFP

American tourist reportedly fell five floors after being pushed outside the underground sex club in Cannes.

Paris: 'Flying' water taxis to be tested on River Seine
Photo: SeaBubbles

An in Seine idea surely? But tests will go ahead.

The annoying questions only a half French, half Brit can answer
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Forget Brangelina's chateau - here are nine others you've got to see
The must-see French films of the millennium - Part One
How life for expats in France has changed over the years
Why Toulouse is THE place to be in France right now
Video: New homage to Paris shows the 'real side' of city
The 'most dangerous' animals you can find in France
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
jobs available