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Smart devices, the data economy, smart cities, and medicine of the future are just some of the examples of solutions being pursued by the French government’s overarching industrial policy, Industry of the Future. The initiative, led by Emmanuel Macron, Minister for the Economy, Industry and Digital Affairs, seeks to reaffirm industrial renewal throughout France across a wide range of sectors.
In March, a report by a French think tank, Fabrique de l’industrie, examined similarities between the French model and Chinese industrial policy. Eleven percent of France’s GDP is generated in the manufacturing sector, where the government’s priority is now to oversee a mass long-term upgrade of production equipment. With a view to enhancing competitiveness and replacing ageing machinery, 2,000 SMEs and medium-sized companies are receiving support to make a detailed diagnosis of their industrial capacity by the end of the year.
Concurrently, Bpifrance, France’s public investment bank, has plans to inject €15 billion into the French manufacturing sector by 2018, by providing funding for environmentally friendly upgrades, digital technology and the Industry of the Future initiative.
French industry made a strong start to 2015, as the gross operating surplus of manufacturing firms in France rose 11.6%. The automotive industry and mechanical equipment sector also posted encouraging figures, which it is hoped will feed into new, upcoming industries of the future.