Semiconductors: a €5.7 billion project crowned the “Choose France” summit – 07/11/2022 19:48

STMicroelectronics headquarters in Paris, October 9, 2017 (AFP / ERIC PIERMONT)

Pioneering investment in semiconductors and inviting 180 foreign presidents: President Emmanuel Macron and the government are holding the fifth “Choose France” summit on Monday at Versailles, an opportunity to show off France’s allure.

The day began with the announcement of a €5.7 billion investment by French-Italian company STMicroelectronics and American GlobalFoundries to build a semiconductor plant in Crolls near Grenoble.

Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire commented on Twitter: “This is the largest industrial investment in recent decades, with the exception of nuclear power, and a huge step for our industrial sovereignty: 1,000 jobs are at stake.”

He also welcomed “there is reason to be confident in our ability to restore our industrial sites,” during a press conference in Versailles.

These statements come in a tense atmosphere, after Le Monde newspaper revealed, on Sunday evening, the links that brought together Emmanuel Macron, then Minister of Economy (2014-2016), and Uber. Based on various testimonies and documents, these “Uber files” concluded that there was a secret “deal”, aimed at helping the platform solidify its positions in France, which was strongly condemned by opposition elected officials.

Les projets d’investissements industriels présentés lundi après-midi à Versailles (6,7 milliards d’euros d’investissements, “plus de 4.000 emplois créés”), tombent à point nommé pour le gouvernement d’investissements, “plus de 4.000 emplois créés” Purchasing power.

The future semiconductor factory is part of the “Chip Act”, the European Union’s program to regain a place alongside Asia and America in global semiconductor production, after the Covid-19 crisis.

The first productions, made possible thanks to the “great financial support of the French state”, according to the two groups, should be launched from the end of 2023, with an increase until 2025-2026, according to the Elysee. The two companies said about 58% of the production will be for GlobalFoundries, and the rest for STMicroelectronics.

“This is a fundamental announcement for France,” STMicroelectronics CEO Jean-Marc Cherry cheered to the press in Versailles, saying he hoped it would pave the way for “other types of investments of this kind in the country.” “.

French President Emmanuel Macron during a video conference at the Elysee Palace in Paris to open the previous summit.

French President Emmanuel Macron during a video conference at the Elysee Palace, Paris, for the opening of the former “Choose France” summit, January 25, 2021 (POOL / Ludovic MARIN)

Mr Macron will travel there on Tuesday to present this plant project, which will eventually be “the largest French chip production site and one of the largest in Europe”.

– gravity –

For the Elysee, the record participation of foreign business leaders in “Choose France” – they numbered 120 to 130 in previous editions – shows “very strong interest from foreign presidents, after the president’s re-election”.

During a lunch to mark the start of the summit, Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire assured that the executive branch will continue over the next five years “to reduce production taxes, improve our labor skills and reduce administrative procedures for the installation of new industrial sites” according to the text of his letter sent to AFP.

Leaders of Coca-Cola, Disney, Siemens, US banks Citi, JP Morgan and Morgan Stanley, Chinese conglomerate Fosun or Australian financial services group Macquarie will find themselves under Versailles gold. Emmanuel Macron has also met with major sovereign wealth funds from the Gulf, but also from South Korea or Canada.

“It is a unique opportunity to speak (…) to many major players and not only in France, but internationally,” rejoiced Luigi Corradi, CEO of Trenitalia Rail, who comes from entering the French market.

“It is unbelievable to see that so many companies are investing in France, it means that we may not have been wrong” for doing so as well, he told AFP, welcoming the “good cooperation” with the French government.

FedEx will create 1,000 permanent jobs in Roissy, near Paris (GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA/MARIO TAMA)

FedEx will create 1,000 permanent jobs in Roissy, near Paris (GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA/MARIO TAMA)

Among other projects announced as part of “Choose France”, express parcel specialist FedEx will create 1,000 jobs in Roissy (Val d’Oise), consultancy Accenture 500 in Brittany and Vietnam’s Vinfast (cars) 350 to 400 in “showrooms” and workshops, according to the Elysee.

British pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) will invest in clinical trials, and Germany’s Vorwerk will set up a second Thermomix plant in Eure-et-Loir.

France prides itself on being the most attractive country in Europe for foreign investors in terms of the number of projects – 1,222 in 2021 – and its size on the other hand being smaller overall, as measured by EY.

Nearly 80 investment projects, representing 12 billion euros and 21,000 jobs, have been announced as part of the “Choose France” summits since 2018: 25 have been completed, 50 are under way, and five have been abandoned or postponed.

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