France confirms 4 billion euros in new foreign investment

France has received 4 billion euros in foreign investment which will go to 21 new projects and create 10,000 new jobs across the country, the Elysee announced, in the fifth annual “Choose France” campaign.

Investment plans include:

  • 850 million euros from the American materials manufacturer Eastman in a plastic recycling plant which will employ 350 people by 2025. Its location is not yet decided but it should recycle more than 160,000 tons of plastic per year, including including textile waste and household packaging.
  • The Swedish furniture giant Ikea will invest 650 million euros over three years in projects “dedicated to the virtual economy and sustainable transport”.
  • The German pharmaceutical company BASF will invest 300 million euros in its Chalampé site (Haut-Rhin, East), which President Macron is due to visit today (January 17) with the Minister of Industry Agnès Pannier-Runacher. The construction of a new factory will employ 500 construction workers and lead to 50 permanent positions on site.
  • Pfizer is also expected to invest up to 520 million euros in an industrial outsourcing project with manufacturer Novasep for the production of Covid-19 treatment and investments in advanced research.
  • 85 million euros from the American pet food manufacturer Mars Petcare, which is preparing to renovate its existing sites in France and build two new production lines. Mars Petcare France CEO Romain Dumas said: “French people spend more on their pets [during the health crisis]and to add that the investment in France is due to the “know-how and the quality of the production”, but also to the “political will of the group to invest more foreign capital”.
  • The Norwegian group Norske Skog will invest 250 million euros to convert a production line to create 100% recycled packaging, while the Belgian group X-Fab will invest 65 million euros to create local production of semi- car drivers, who suffer from a serious shortage.
  • Similarly, consulting giant Accenture is expected to employ 2,000 more people in France this year.
  • The Mexican group Alsea – which owns the rights to the Starbucks brand in France – also plans to create 1,500 new jobs in the country by 2026.

Many of the 21 new projects are expected to be located in rural areas, in townships with populations of 20,000 or less, as part of plans to expand investment and development nationwide.

“Choose France”

The investments come at the fifth annual “Choose France” investment campaign event, which typically invites the CEOs of major multinationals to attend a reception with the president at the Palace of Versailles – although it hasn’t happened in person this year due to the pandemic.

In its announcement, the Elysée said that this year’s investments would create 21 new projects and more than 10,000 jobs, as well as 16,000 additional fixed-term contracts.

Over the last four years of the “Choose France” initiative, of the 57 projects announced, 55 have actually taken place, representing investments of 8 billion euros and 13,300 job creations.

Public investment in these projects is generally around 5 to 10% of their total amount, the Elysee said. He added that in 2019 and 2020, France was the most popular country in Europe for foreign investment.

At the start of this electoral year, the Elysée insisted on proclaiming that this “attractiveness validates all the economic policy [and] is the result of all the reforms that have been carried out since the beginning of the five-year term”.

While the Choose France initiative highlights only a small fraction of foreign investment in the country, government agency Business France said it counted 5,300 new projects between 2017 and 2020, which alone created or maintained 140,000 jobs nationwide.

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