Received the same morning by Emmanuel Macron at the Elyséebefore going to Versailles to participate in the annual Choose France summit, the American billionaire Elon Musk, boss of Tesla, SpaceX and owner of Twitter, said to himself “itconfident (on the fact) that Tesla will make significant investments in France” in the near future, without further details.
Speaking after a face-to-face exchange with the French Minister of the Economy, Bruno Le Maire, on the subject Europe’s response to the US Inflation Reduction Act and France’s green industry bill, Bercy had said, Musk added in front of journalists : “I am very impressed by the welcome given by President Macron and the French government to the industry. »
Monday morning, Mr. Le Maire had declared on BFM-TV and RMC that” There is(goes) negotiations that are in progress” with Elon Musk, judging that the coming of the American billionaire to Choose France was “a very strong signal”. “All the investments that are made today are the result of months, even years of negotiations”he added.
13 billion euros of investments
On the occasion of this 2023 edition of Choose France, Monday, 13 billion euros of foreign investment, with a promise of creation of 8,000 jobs, were announced. Of the approximately 400 guests received under the golds of the Palace of Versailles, 206 bosses of multinationals were notably present, half of whom were taking part in the summit for the first time.
Driven by the government, Choose France is, according to the Elysée, “became an unmissable event” which embodies the success of its policy to lower the cost of labor and reindustrialize the country, while accelerating the ecological transition. “Our idea is to be able, thanks to Choose France, thanks to the appointments granted by the Head of State, by the ministers, to catalyze investment decisions. It is therefore important for us to be able to attract newcomers”we developed in the entourage of the president.
The foreign bosses present at the event were half European, 20% North American and 15% Asian, we detailed from the same source. Were present in particular Sunil Bharti Mittal, chairman of the diversified Indian group Bharti Enterprises, the executive chairman of ArcelorMittal, Lakhsmi Mittal, and the CEO of Nokia, Pekka Lundmark.
Considering “the risk that he constitutes a privileged and symbolic target for the perpetration of acts of a terrorist nature”the security of the perimeter of the Palace of Versailles had been reinforced for the event, had indicated the prefecture of Yvelines, specifying that it had authorized two drones to capture and transmit images.
Kept away from the castle by this heavy security device, around 150 to 200 people however took advantage of the presence of Emmanuel Macron to protest against the pension reform, near the castle at midday. Gathered on the forecourt of the Versailles-Chantiers station, the demonstrators, who came from the ranks of the CGT, FO, SUD or even student unions from Yvelines, opposed the reform promulgated last month with concert pans and whistles.
28 projects announced during this 2023 edition
Launched by Emmanuel Macron in 2018, Choose France was first designed as a stopover for big bosses on their way to Davos, the first three editions being held in January. This calendar was then shaken up by the Covid-19 crisis, with two meetings last year, the first of which was online due to the pandemic. They had made it possible to garner 10.8 billion in investment promises.
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In total, the twenty-eight projects announced during this 2023 edition will create 8,000 jobs. The largest having already been unveiled by Emmanuel Macron on Friday during a trip to Dunkirk (North): 5.2 billion euros for a gigafactory of new generation batteries from Taiwanese ProLogium, with 3,000 jobs at the key. In the same city, the Chinese XTC will build with the French Orano a factory of components and recycling of batteries for 1.5 billion euros.
Another flagship project is the establishment in Sarreguemines (Moselle) of a photovoltaic panel production plant by Holosolis, an offshoot of the European group InnoEnergy, for 710 million euros, representing 1,700 jobs.
“For years, we subsidized photovoltaic panels that were made at the end of the world, now we are going to have photovoltaic panels made in France”, welcomed, Sunday on Franceinfo, the Minister of Industry, Roland Lescure. Also in energy, the start-up Newcleo is announcing 3 billion investments over the period 2025-2030 to develop a small modular reactor of the SMR type.
Among other projects, the large Swedish furniture group Ikea announced 906 million euros of investment in France by 2026, including the creation of a logistics center near Toulouse (South), with ” very probably “ new jobs at stake, management announced to Agence France-Presse.
In total, and to also invest in its current stores and new sites, such as the Parisian Italy 2 shopping center, the group will deploy 1.2 billion euros over four years, according to a press release published on Sunday. Of this sum, 377 million will come from a previous investment envelope which had not been entirely consumed.
Most attractive country in Europe by number of projects
In the pharmaceutical sector, Pfizer is injecting, like last year, an additional 500 million euros. The American explained in a press release that thanks to this new investment, it will “building capacity in oncology clinical trials and traditional research”. For its part, the British group GSK announced 240 million in investments on three production sites in Evreux (North-West), Mayenne (West) and Saint-Amand-les-Eaux (North), and more than 150 million for research and development.
However, the investments presented within the framework of Choose France only represent a small part of the foreign direct investments (FDI) made each year in France. According to the Business France agency, 1,725 projects with mainly foreign capital were established in the territory last year. With a different methodology, the EY firm identified 1,259, also in 2022, making France the most attractive country in Europe for foreign investors in terms of the number of projects.
The total amount of investments is calculated neither by Business France nor by EY. But the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, whose latest published figures are for 2021, placed France far from the podium that year, in sixth place in Europe with $ 14 billion in FDI.