Emmanuel Macron receives bosses at Versailles on Monday from around the world to praise a France welcoming companies with open arms, a credo illustrated by a series of contract announcements and new investments totaling nearly 4 billion euros.
This profession of faith, for the third edition of the "Choose France" summit, will nevertheless still come up against social news: after the "yellow vests" in 2019, the mobilization against pension reform this year.
On the 47th day of the movement, and while the strike in transport seems to be marking time, several trade union organizations - CGT, FO, FSU and Solidaires des Yvelines - have already announced that they will demonstrate on Monday in Versailles.
Sunday evening, the Elysée detailed new investments, to rejoice: "health, transport, banking, food, telecoms, digital ... There are announcements on all territories, in all sectors and for everything type of jobs. "
The largest comes from the Italian-Swiss shipowner MSC, which placed an order for 2 billion euros with the Chantiers de l'Atlantique in Saint-Nazaire for two new liners, deliverable in 2025 and 2027 and powered LNG (liquefied natural gas).
This firm order is accompanied by the signing of two memoranda of understanding between MSC and the shipyards, potentially involving 4 billion euros in additional investment.
"Choose France", an event to which nearly 200 leaders of French and foreign companies are expected to participate in total in "more than 400 bilateral meetings", is wanted since 2018 as an appointment at the edge of the World Economic Forum (WEF) from Davos in Switzerland.
In addition to the president and Prime Minister Edouard Philippe, 19 members of the government will welcome, under the gold of the royal castle, bosses of large American groups (Coca-Cola, Snap Inc, Fedex, Google, Netflix ...), Asians ( Hyundai Motors, Samsung Electronics, Fosun, Toyota ...), African (Cooper Pharma, Orascom) and European (Rolls Royce, EY, ING Bank ...)
- Foreign investments up sharply -
As in 2018, France remains the second destination for foreign investors in Europe behind Germany and ahead of the United Kingdom, which is about to jump into the unknown when leaving the European Union. Between 2017 and 2019, its attractiveness increased from 22nd to 15th in the ranking published by the WEF, "the best progression of the top 20", according to the Elysée.
According to Matignon, foreign direct investment in French companies grew by more than 5 billion euros in 2018 (an increase of 20%) "and the year 2019 promises to break new records".
The construction in Saint-Nazaire of two new liners with 6,700 passengers each will generate "14 million hours of work, corresponding to 2,400 jobs for three and a half years," said the executive.
The agreement also provides for the development of a new class of LNG liners, as well as that of a new prototype of boats propelled partly under sail, integrating in fact the "best environmental innovations", the cruise being regularly accused of enormously polluting.
Among the other announcements within the framework of "Choose France", figures the decision of Coca-Cola and its bottler to invest a billion euros over five years in France, half of which to strengthen its production and distribution network. , and the other to "support the development of its current brands and introduce new products to the French market".
In addition, the pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca has announced an investment of more than 450 million euros (500 million dollars) over five years in France, including more than 200 million euros for its Dunkirk site where Mr. Macron is expected. on Monday.
The Anglo-Swedish group, which employs around 1,000 people in France, will in particular continue to develop this site, which specializes in the production of aerosol products for the treatment of asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
© 2020 AFP