Macron meets Musk to talk investment

France is set to receive a record amount of foreign investment commitments as President Emmanuel Macron hosts global business leaders, including Tesla CEO Elon Musk, at the annual Choose France summit in Versailles. The summit presents an opportunity for Macron to showcase his pro-business reforms and highlight his focus on promoting lower carbon industries, particularly electric vehicles, amidst his declining popularity due to unpopular retirement age proposals.

Business executives attending the event have already pledged a combined investment of €13 billion ($14 billion), marking the highest level since the summit’s inception in 2018. Elon Musk met with President Macron at the Elysee Palace before their discussions at Versailles, where French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire will present Musk with new tax credits for green technology investments recently unveiled by Macron.

In the past, France had endeavored to attract Musk to establish a European gigafactory in the country, but he ultimately chose Germany as the location for his only European gigafactory to date. During an interview, Le Maire stated that current investments are the result of extensive negotiations conducted over months or even years.

The Choose France summit, held at the opulent Versailles Palace, has been a key platform for Macron to secure substantial foreign investments over the last five years. As Macron seeks to shape his legacy before the end of his two-term tenure and subsequent inability to run in the 2027 elections, the summit offers an opportunity to shift focus away from protests and strikes against his retirement age proposals. Additionally, it positions France as a competitive player in attracting green technology investments amid the United States’ rise as an investment magnet following the implementation of its Inflation Reduction Act.

The investment projects expected from the summit range from various companies, including Pfizer, IKEA, and Morgan Stanley, with a total of 28 projects anticipated to create 8,000 jobs. Notable commitments include a €5.2 billion project by a Taiwanese car battery manufacturer in Dunkirk and a €1.5 billion battery components plant in the same city through a joint venture between a Chinese group and a French company. IKEA plans to invest €906 million by 2026, while Pfizer has earmarked €500 million for expansion in France over the same period. Morgan Stanley is also expected to announce the creation of 200 new banking jobs in Paris.

Pan Finance is a print journal and news website providing worldwide intelligence on finance, economics and global commerce. Known for our in-depth analysis and opinion pieces from esteemed academics and celebrated professionals; our readership consists of senior decision makers from across the globe.

Contact us