French president Macron’s reform agenda is gaining momentum. In the startup ecosystem, his French Tech Visa is drawing in foreign talent, while his goal of achieving male and female equality in France has increased the number of women-oriented initiatives.
Despite consultancy EY’s recent European Attractiveness survey showing that foreign direct investment (FDI) dropped in France by 1% in 2018 after soaring to 31% growth in 2017, the number of French R&D and manufacturing FDI projects grew from 144 to 339 to give it more than other European countries.
EY global managing partner Andy Baldwin believes that Brexit and other political and economic uncertainty is reducing investment in Europe, but that France’s R&D momentum will continue.
“France continues its FDI progress, albeit at a slower rate, now tying with the UK, which it will likely overtake in financial year 2019, as long as Macron’s reform agenda continues,” he says, adding that it needs to continue to invest in “technology and provide access to an agile and skilled workforce” because this drives foreign direct investment.
One way to optimize a workforce is through gender equality. France introduced a 40% gender quota law in 2012 and a few years later McKinsey released a landmark report stating how economic gender parity could add $28 trillion, or 26%, to annual global GDP.
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