Via translation from Les Echos, please consider 50 Foreign Companies Operating in France Sound the Alarm.
For the 50 signatories, the conclusion is clear: “In recent years we find it increasingly difficult to convince our parent companies to invest and create jobs in France.”
We preside over the destinies of subsidiaries of major international groups in France, a country where we employ more than 150,000 employees and carry more than one hundred billion euros in sales. We are part of this “community”, the companies whose capital is foreign but create wealth here in France. We are supporters and ambassadors of our parent companies that they make the choice to invest and create jobs.
In recent years, we find it more and more difficult to convince them to invest, and many of them settled in a cautious wait and see attitude. They put us “under observation”.
The case is not indifferent: 20,000 companies share our identity, employ 2 million people, or 13% of the employed population, fourth in the industrial sector alone. We contribute about 29% of French industry sales, providing a third of French exports. We contribute 29% of French investment and provide 29% of the R & D companies operating in France. This wealth is priceless.
France has the resources, talent and innovation, but we are penalized by the complexity and instability of the legislative and regulatory environment, a lack of flexibility of labor law, and by complex, lengthy and uncertain procedures and, more broadly, a cultural mistrust of the market economy.
In all these areas, our global headquarters consider the situation in our country has not fundamentally improved. Rather, things are getting worse.
Those looking to understand why France is not about to recover, need only look at the socialist policies of Hollande, the immense hold of unions on the country, and the lack of progress on badly-needed reforms of work rules and pensions.
Mike “Mish” Shedlock