French president hosts 140 world business leaders

French President Emmanuel Macron, 3rd left, visits Toyota's automobile manufacturing plant with Director Luciano Biondo, 2nd left, in Onnaing, northern France, Monday, Jan. 22, 2018. (Pascal Rossignol/Pool Photo via AP)
France's President Emmanuel Macron, left, attends a meeting with Google CEO Sundar Pichai, right, during the "Choose France" summit, at the Chateau de Versailles, outside Paris, Monday, Jan. 22, 2018. Macron is hosting 140 world business leaders in a bid to convince them to invest and hire in France — and to persuade the French themselves of the merits of his economic policies. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus, Pool)
France's President Emmanuel Macron, right, attends a meeting with Vasant Narasimhan, Global Head Drug Development and Chief Medical of Swiss multinational pharmaceutical company Novartis, during the "Choose France" summit, at the Chateau de Versailles, outside Paris, Monday, Jan. 22, 2018. Macron is hosting 140 world business leaders in a bid to convince them to invest and hire in France — and to persuade the French themselves of the merits of his economic policies. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus, Pool)
France's President Emmanuel Macron, left, attends a meeting with Google CEO Sundar Pichai, center, during the "Choose France" summit, at the Chateau de Versailles, outside Paris, Monday, Jan. 22, 2018. Macron is hosting 140 world business leaders in a bid to convince them to invest and hire in France — and to persuade the French themselves of the merits of his economic policies. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus, Pool)
French President Emmanuel Macron waves as he visits Toyota's automobile manufacturing plant with Director Luciano Biondo, left, in Onnaing, northern France, Monday, Jan. 22, 2018. (Pascal Rossignol/Pool Photo via AP)
France's President Emmanuel Macron, right, attends a meeting with Chief Operating Officer of Facebook, Sheryl Sandberg, during the "Choose France" summit, at the Chateau de Versailles, outside Paris, Monday, Jan. 22, 2018. Macron is hosting 140 world business leaders in a bid to convince them to invest and hire in France — and to persuade the French themselves of the merits of his economic policies. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus, Pool)
French President Emmanuel Macron greets workers as he visits Toyota's automobile manufacturing plant in Onnaing, northern France, Monday, Jan. 22, 2018. (Pascal Rossignol/Pool Photo via AP)
French President Emmanuel Macron visits Toyota's automobile manufacturing plant, in Onnaing, northern France, Monday, Jan. 22, 2018. (Pascal Rossignol/Pool Photo via AP)
An employee uses a mobile phone to make of picture of French President Emmanuel Macron as he visits Toyota's automobile manufacturing plant in Onnaing, northern France, Monday, Jan. 22, 2018. (Pascal Rossignol/Pool Photo via AP)

PARIS — French President Emmanuel Macron promoted his government's changes to French tax and labor laws Monday in front of 140 world business leaders in a bid to convince them to invest and hire in France.

At the same time, the 40-year-old Macron, elected last May, hopes to persuade the French themselves of the merits of his economic policies.

Macron visited a Toyota plant in northern France before heading to the evening business event at the chateau of Versailles, in the presence of 15 French government ministers.

Several companies seized the occasion to announce investments plans in the country.

German-based SAP software company announced a 2 billion-euro ($ 2.4 billion) investment plan over the next five years, focusing on research and development and supporting startups.

Japan's Toyota unveiled a 300 million euros plan ($367 million) to enlarge its Onnaing car factory, creating 800 new jobs by 2020.

"We kind of forgot this, but the French are very innovative. We must re-awaken this," Macron told employees during the visit to the factory.

Facebook will invest 10 million euros ($12 million) in its French artificial intelligence center by 2022.

Google will open a new research center in artificial intelligence in Paris in coming weeks. The internet company also confirmed the expansion of its Paris headquarters this year, the number of employees increasing from 700 to 1,000. Google wouldn't reveal the amount of the investment.

Other smaller announcements concern four food production plants and a research center in wireless technologies.

Macron's office said CEOs or top executives from Google, Facebook, Coca-Cola, HSBC, Goldman Sachs, Samsung and Alibaba were among those attending the meeting.

Business leaders are stopping in France en route to the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, where Macron will give a speech.

Macron, a centrist who was elected on a pro-European, pro-business platform, argues his economic policies will make France stronger to face globalization.

His labor market measures, perceived by many as weakening France's hard-won worker protection rights, prompted a series of street protests last year. They are expected to start producing effects in the coming months.

Macron promised to subsequently cut taxes on business revenue by 2022.

During the business event, Prime Minister Edouard Philippe also announced temporary tax cuts for employees sent to France by a non-French employer. In addition, France will set up specialized commercial courts in Paris to allow for the hearing of international law cases, he said.

State statistics agency Insee last month raised its 2017 growth estimate for France to 1.9 percent, the highest in a decade.

___

Angela Charlton in Paris contributed to this report.

Must Read

China ambassador urges Australia against 'bias...

Jun 19, 2018

China's ambassador to Australia says the strained diplomatic relationship between the two countries...

Inquiry's report criticizes Australian banking...

Sep 28, 2018

Government inquiry's interim report criticizes Australian banking misbehavior

Canada determined to diversify despite Keystone...

Mar 25, 2017

Canada's natural resource minister says his government is happy the Keystone XL pipeline has...

Issues remain as 3rd round of NAFTA talks wraps...

Sep 27, 2017

Contentious issues remain in NAFTA renegotiations as the U.S., Canada and Mexico conclude a third...

Canada-US relations at a low after Trudeau-Trump...

Jun 14, 2018

For the first time in decades, one of the world's most durable and amicable alliances faces serious...

About Us

Banking Reporter is the largest-circulated online business news in the United States, bringing a whole new genre of business journalism more up close and more incisive.

Contact us: sales[at]bankingreporter.com

Subscribe Now!