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E-batteries, solar panels and medicines: France announces €13 billion of new foreign investment

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E-batteries, solar panels and medicines: France announces €13 billion of new foreign investment
The Choose France initiative is intended to entice foreign businesses to invest in France. Photo by Ludovic MARIN / POOL / AFP

Emmanuel Macron on Monday announced €13 billion of new foreign investment in France through the Choose France project - an initiative that aims to make France a more attractive place for foreign businesses. Here are the sectors where big new investments have been announced.

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Macron on Monday attended the 6th annual Choose France conference at Versailles - one of his pet projects which is central to his vision of making France a more business-friendly country.

The Elysée's figures released on Monday show €13 billion of investment via Choose France - only one part of the foreign direct investment in France.

Here are the sectors that foreign businesses are investing in;

E-batteries

With the growth of electric cars and other greener technologies, batteries are are a huge growth area, and France has ambitions to become a European centre for battery manufacture as car-makers switch to electric models - the EU is planning a total ban on the sale of new vehicles with petrol or diesel engines by 2035.

Taiwanese company ProLogium has announced a €5.2 billion new battery gigafactory in Dunkirk, north east France, one of several new battery-related projects in the northern Hauts-de-France area. Amonf the new projects is the he Chinese company XTC, which announced it will build a battery components and recycling plant with the French company Orano for €1.5 billion.

Solar panels

Another growth area is photovoltaic panels - commonly known as solar panels. Like many other European governments, France has been providing subsidies for homeowners and businesses who want to install solar panels and therefore cut their carbon emissions, but now the country is seeing an expansion in the production of the panels.

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A photovoltaic panel production plant will be created in Sarreguemines in Moselle. Created by Holosolis, an offshoot of the European group Innoenergy, for €710 million, the plant will create 1,700 jobs and be fully operational by 2025.

Pharmaceuticals

The French pharma sector has long been a big domestic employer, but is now seeing more foreign investment. US giant Pfizer is investing an extra €500 million after €500 was also invested last year, focusing on research and clinical trials, particularly in cancer treatments.

The British company GSK announced €240 million euros of investment in three production sites in Évreux, Mayenne and Saint-Amand-les-Eaux (in the north and west of France), and more than €150 million for research and development.

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The Italian biotech company Sapio will invest €200 million over three years for an acquisition and expansion of its business, creating 100 new jobs. 

Flatpack furniture

Swedish furniture giant Ikea has announced that it wants to strengthen its presence in France with a new €906 million logistics plant near Toulouse and a similar project in Yvelines, greater Paris. 

Telecoms

The Finnish firm Nokia has announced the created of two new research and development centres in Saclay, near Paris, and Lannion in Brittany.

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