France launches broad initiatives to improve industry, create jobs

© AFP/ Frank Perry

France announced a sweeping plan yesterday aimed at improving industries and creating jobs. President François Hollande unveiled 34 initiatives that will create a new industrialized France focusing on cutting-edge innovation, production, and new technologies from ultra fast trains to fuel efficient cars. 


"France's assets, leaders and entrepreneurs have the ability to innovate, imagine and invent. We have an industrial network that remains. We also have a set of universities of scholars the must work even more in partnership with businesses. And we have regions as well that can bring in not only financing, but also knowledge of different territories," said Hollande.

France’s Industry Minister Arnaud Montebourg has also promised to create 475,000 jobs and 45 billion euros in revenues in the next ten years to help recover the country from 750,000 lost industrial jobs over the past decade.

Hollande again expressed optimism about the future, even with unemployment hovering above 10 per cent and news just days earlier that France must cut its 2014 growth forecast as the country skidded past its deficit target for this year.

Marc Ivaldi, a professor of industrial economy at the Toulouse School of Economics, said these initiatives will require careful organising on behalf of the government, including how the projects are selected, evaluated, and their level of transparency.

"The third industrial revolution will also take place in France and will give birth to tomorrow's products and inventions," said Hollande. "What we want to tell the world is that France has the ability to surprise you."


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