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Foreign firms pledge to invest record €6.7bn in France this year

Technology and manufacturing industries account for most of the investment and job creation

US Globalfoundries and Franco-Italian STMicroelectronics are investing €5.7billion for a semiconductor factory; US Collins Aerospace are investing €400million in existing factories; Spanish software giant Amadeus is to invest €80million Pic: SundryPhotography / Michael Vi / P_Brauers / Nolichuckyjake / Shutterstock

Foreign companies are expected to invest €6.7billion in French industry this year, according to the Elysée.

Encouraging foreign investment was one of the priorities President Macron outlined when first elected in 2017.

Uber leaks

Recent leaks from Uber show that even before then, while he was finance minister, he cooperated with the American company to identify and remove laws which made its investment model hard to implement in France.

He risked the wrath of taxi drivers in doing so.

Read more: Why Macron is involved in leaked reports about Uber’s shady practices

Macron created ‘Choose France’ agency

As president, a key part of encouraging investment has been creating and supporting the ‘Choose France’ economic development agency to cut through the sometimes conflicting interests of city, department and regional agencies.

Choose France’s annual showcase is a summit of industrialists and government heavyweights, including the president, held at the Château de Versailles each summer since 2017, where the record €6.7billion figure was highlighted.

Read more: Ikea, Pfizer, pet care: France confirms €4bn in new foreign investment

More control over computer parts supply

The number was dominated by the €5.7billion and 1,000 jobs to be invested by US firm Globalfoundries and STMicroelectronics, with the creation of a semiconductor factory in Crolles, near Grenoble in Isère.

Geneva-based Franco-Italian company STMicroelectronics is one of the world’s major electronic chip makers. 

The investment is part of a strategy to 2030 which will see both France and Europe become less reliant on computer parts made on the other side of the world.

Software, manufacturing and research

Spanish software giant Amadeus, specialist in reservation software, is to invest €80million and hire 800 people by expanding into France, with 80% of the jobs at the Sophia Antipolis technology park near Nice and the rest in Paris.

Other big industrial investments include €400million from US company Collins Aerospace in existing factories, €273million by Italian train company Trenitalia to develop its rivals to SNCF’s TGVs, and British pharmaceutical company GSK, which is to invest €48million in research and development projects in France.

Thousands of jobs created

Italy’s Iveco bus and lorry maker is to invest €60million in factories making Iveco and Heuliez buses, with much of the money going to a factory in Rorthais in the Deux-Sèvres department which makes battery-powered buses.

In the service sector, US giant FedEx will hire 1,200 people at its centre near Paris’s Charles de Gaulle airport, while Dutch temp agency Randstad said it wants to recruit 7,000 people on full-time contracts to be sure of meeting demand.

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