“Record” investments expected at the Choose France 2024 summit

“Record” investments expected at the Choose France 2024 summit
“Record” investments expected at the Choose France 2024 summit

“France, land of champions”, this is the evocative name given to the 7th Choose France summit, chaired by Emmanuel Macron, which starts this Monday at the Palace of Versailles. The city will welcome many foreign investors, on a theme linked to the spirit of the Olympic Games. Basic objective: to remain at the top of the European podium for attractiveness.

Last year, 28 projects were announced during this annual forum launched in 2018, for a total of 13 billion euros. And this year, the number of investment projects should be “ record », According to the Elysée. If most of the amounts will be revealed this weekend, Prime Minister Gabriel Attal has already mentioned on Tuesday, in front of the deputies, the announcement of “ very large projects “.

Already large investments in perspective

As of this Friday, some large firms have already announced the color. According to a Source close to the matter at AFP, the American group IBM will announce an investment of 45 million euros in quantum computing to develop its research laboratory in France.

This investment over several years will lead to the hiring of around fifty engineers and researchers by 2025 to enable the missions of the IBM France Lab Paris-Saclay center to be extended to quantum, this Source indicated, specifying everyday information The echoes.

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Another American giant which should announce a significant investment: Amazon, which, again according to the economic daily,would like to spend 1.3 billion euros on a French data center for its cloud subsidiary AWS and a warehouse for its e-commerce activities “. What to create 3,000 jobs “.

Contacted by AFP, Amazon responded that it had “not no comments to be made ahead of any possible announcement that would be made » at the Choose France summit. One of its vice-presidents, Russell Grandinetti, nevertheless appears among a list of guests at the event consulted by AFP.

Nearly 32 billion investments since the first summit in 2018

Since the first of the Choose France summits in 2018, intended to attract foreign industrial investment in France, 122 projects have been announced for a total of 31.9 billion euros, mainly involving extensions of already existing sites, according to a compilation by the magazine the New Factory, published this Friday.

In the end, 27 projects concern exclusively the establishment of new factories or new research and development centers, according to the magazine’s counts. Not all of them came out of the ground. But abandonments are rare according to the media, which notes two: in 2018, the American group Del Monte announced the establishment of a fresh fruit cutting factory in the Somme which was finally abandoned. In Normandy, the Korean group SPC, which aimed to produce pastries, did not follow up either.

In the digital sector, many announced projects are indeed operational: Google inaugurated its Parisian research center on artificial intelligence in February, the Snap chat firm has an augmented reality studio within Station F, and the digital Accenture’s expertise in Brest has around a hundred employees. The e-commerce specialist Zalando has taken possession of a logistics platform in Seine-et-Marne which should ultimately employ 2,000 people.

France, the most attractive country in Europe

As a reminder, France remained in 2023, for the fifth consecutive year, the leading country in Europe for foreign investments, ahead of the United Kingdom and Germany, according to the EY firm barometer. Published last week, this recorded 1,194 project announcements in France last year, ahead of the United Kingdom (985) and Germany (733). These investments represent 39,773 job creations in France. So the country is today the recipient of 21% of foreign investments in Europe.

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Using a different methodology, Business France, France’s public economic promotion structure, even recorded 1,815 foreign investment decisions last year. “In a context of contraction of international investments in Europe, France maintains a desirable place on the Old Continent”had shared with The Tribunee Marc Lhermitte, consultant at EY.

Highly anticipated big bosses

With its few dozen announcements, Choose France is far from being the only place where decisions are made. But it is the most exclusive. Some 180 foreign bosses are expected, the maximum possible “ to keep the event a reasonable size », according to the Elysée, and allow them to each meet at least one French minister.

For this new edition, the leaders of ArcelorMittal, JP Morgan, Bank of America, Goldman Sachs, and Coca-Cola are notably announced on site. In the field of pharmacy, the bosses of AstraZeneca and Novartis are expected to come. Those of the industrial giants Envision and Air Products and the Saudi or Qatari sovereign investment funds are also expected.

Furthermore, more than half of the leaders present will be non-European (20% North American and 20% Asian in particular), and around a third are coming for the first time. Around sixty French bosses are also expected.

Busy schedule for the president and prime minister

Gabriel Attal will chair the lunch, a novelty for a Prime Minister. European Commissioner for the Internal Market Thierry Breton is due to attend. After a morning in the field, to highlight one of the summit projects, Emmanuel Macron must appear in Versailles early Monday afternoon. The President of the Republic must chair a round table on decarbonization, and another on artificial intelligence and quantum (super-powerful computing), subjects on which France stands out in Europe.

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The president will close another on India, and will have one-on-one talks with some bosses for whom a conversation with the head of state could be of a ” to make the decision » on projects « very important and very strategic “, we explain, from the same Source. Such conversations, for example, led last year to the launch by Taiwanese battery manufacturer ProLogium of a “ gigafactory » of 5.2 billion euros in Dunkirk.

After a plenary session with all the bosses – who will benefit from a short Olympics sequence with the president of the organizing committee Tony Estanguet – the president will finally receive the assembly for dinner in the prestigious Hall of Mirrors of the Palace of Versailles.

France in the spotlight at international level this year

France will be very visible, with numerous international events putting it in the spotlight: Olympic Games, Francophonie Summit, 80th anniversary of the D-Day landings, reopening of Notre-Dame Cathedral. Also note: the 7th edition of the Choose France summit is organized against a backdrop of apparent economic recovery, with growth and employment having defied more pessimistic expectations, each increasing by 0.2% in the first quarter.

Choose France also participates in the reindustrialization strategy of France desired by the executive, marked by an improvement in the tax and regulatory framework for businesses, according to the Elysée. “ Have we already erased decades of deindustrialization? Obviously no, not yet. But the trend has reversed », declared Gabriel Attal on Tuesday in front of the deputies.

(With AFP)

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