A dinner to convince companies not to go abroad. Emmanuel Macron is to receive, Monday evening, November 21, major European industrialists to encourage them to stay in Europe, and especially in France, in the face of fears of a resurgence of relocations.
According to the Elysée, the French head of state receives representatives of the Round Table of European Industrialists (European Round Table for Industry, ERT), which claims among its members some sixty large companies on the continent. Among them, leaders of the Engie, Orange, Ericsson, Unilever, AstraZeneca, Volvo, BMW, Air Liquide and Solvay groups.
The goal? Tell them to stay in Europe and choose France, we explain to the presidency. The executive, which has made reindustrialization one of its economic priorities, fears that theenergy inflation pushes certain companies to make their future investments outside Europe.
Businesses across the continent are issuing increasingly stark warnings of the impact of soaring energy prices since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The Chairman and CEO of Dassault Aviation, Eric Trappier, who heads the Union of Industries and Metallurgy Trades (UIMM), invited Sunday, in the newspaper The echoesEurope to protect its own industry with more determination: “I know several manufacturers who tell me that they regret their investment made six months ago, which they would not have made if they had known about the evolution of energy prices. I take it as a first signal that does not bode well. »
Fears fueled by the attractiveness of the United States
The French State is particularly concerned about the effects of the massive investment plan in the United States promulgated this summer by President Joe Biden to fight in particular against climate change. This Inflation Reduction Act is accused by some Europeans of causing a distortion of competition with its tax credit for the purchase of an electric car built in an American factory with a locally manufactured battery.
“We have difficulties with companies that are beginning to think about either relocating their production or making their future investments elsewhere than in Europe”, says one at the Elysée Palace, citing high energy costs and American legislation as reasons. Mr Macron, who has called on the European Union to launch its own “European Buy Act” to subsidize European production, has met with resistance from the bloc’s most anti-protectionist members.
At the beginning of November, the president had proposed to the industrialists who emit the most CO2 in France to double public aid to support their decarbonization, provided that they also redouble their efforts in this area.