Denys Gounot, president of Atlanta’s French-American Chamber of Commerce, commended 50 business reforms announced by the French government last week that aim to make conducting business in and with France easier and more profitable for U.S. companies.
The reforms, announced by the French government’s international economic development office, Invest in France Agency, intend to attract intellectual talent, foster research and development and facilitate the activities of foreign investors and managers.
“The new measures focusing on research and development, tax credits and expatriate conditions are well designed and definitely make it compelling to locate European headquarters and R&D centers in France,” Mr. Gounot said.
The recent enlargement of the European Union and France’s strategic position on the continent also fuels interest in France, he said.
“Within this enlarged Europe, France now appears a compelling story, not only for its tourism and cultural reputation, but also for its high tech and business competitiveness,” he added.
According to Invest in France, the most significant reform is an increase in the size and number of available research tax credits from $7.2 million to $9.6 million annually.
Also, foreign managers living in France for less than 10 years are now entitled to tax-exempt allowances and bonuses and are able to deduct social security payments they make back home.
For foreign investors in France, visas, as well as work and resident permits, are now guaranteed within three weeks of successful applications, and spouses of manager-level and higher foreign nationals are guaranteed their own work permits.
To attract additional talent to France, reforms include a focus on attracting students and research in targeted sectors, increasing cooperation and collaboration on joint university programs, improving the conditions of entry and residence for foreign students and recruiting top international researchers.
According to Invest in France, some $1 billion in commercial transactions take place between France and the U.S. every business day.
Also, the U.S. is the leading foreign investor in France, supporting almost 550,000 French jobs, while France is the second largest investor in the U.S., supporting almost 600,000 American jobs.
A complete listing of the 50 measures can be found at www.investinfrance.org. For further information, contact Invest in France (212) 757-9340.
Atlanta’s French-American Chamber of Commerce, through its network of agencies including Invest in France, advises and assists American businesses interested in investments and trade with France.
For more information, call the French-American Chamber at (404) 846-2500.