France: An Attractive Location for R&D Operations.

Ratchaneekorn Mekchai - 25-févr.-2011 13:50:17
    Research is an important issue in France: gross domestic R&D spending exceeded $42 billion in 2008 (OECD data), or 2.1% of GDP, placing France second only to Germany in Europe, and is rising again after a dip in recent years. France was also sixth in the world for the number of international patents filed in 2009 and third in Europe for the number of Nobel science laureates. French researchers have been awarded 11 of the 52 Field Medals awarded in mathematics since 1936, making France the second most honored country in the world after the United States (13 medals) in this field.   Over the last few years, the French government has been implementing a proactive policy to increase the industrial crossover of research projects. This policy has three main strands:   - Since 1995, France’s 71 innovation clusters have been bringing together teachers, researchers and industry stakeholders to develop collaborative R&D projects – in all key technology sectors – which are eligible for state aid (€2 billion granted over three years) and regional support. The rise of these clusters has also been supported by the higher education reform launched in 2008, which helped substantially to strengthen regional ties between universities and industry. Nearly 7,000 companies, including 500 foreign companies, now belong to a cluster in France. World-class technology parks have sprung up around the Parisian suburb of Saclay (IT technologies and biotechnologies), Grenoble(nanotechnologies) and Toulouse(aerospace), to name but a few.   - Since 2008, France’s research tax credit has been the most attractive research tax incentive measure in Europe. Businesses receive an initial 50% tax break on R&D spending (40% then 30% in following years). In 2008 alone, over 2,000 foreign companies took advantage of this measure.   - Since 2010, the French government has been financing investments in the industries of the future to the tune of €35 billion, including €7.9 billion for research (€2.4 billion for health and biotechnologies and five new teaching hospital complexes, €1 billion for laboratories of excellence and €1 billion for research equipment). This state funding will in turn leverage private-sector investment, with a view to achieving a twofold increase.   Subsidiaries of foreign companies have greatly contributed to France’s research landscape. Their R&D activities currently account for 22.5% of all research spending in France. The last few years has seen a considerable influx of new foreign R&D centers. The Invest in France Agency (IFA) has tracked 350 foreign R&D investment projects since 2000 that have created nearly 15,000 jobs for researchers and technicians. Sectors with the highest concentration of spending are electrical, electronic, IT and medical equipment. In 2009, 42 foreign companies – including Novartis’ European oncology clinical research platform in Rueil-Malmaison, Sorin SpA’s medical and cardiology equipment facility in Clamart and Huawei’s fundamental research center in Cergy – have opted to set up or expand an R&D center in France, amounting to an almost three-fold increase since 2007 (17 investment projects).   According to Ernst and Young’s annual Attractiveness Survey (June 2010), France was the second most attractive country in Europe in 2009 for foreign R&D centers and the leading country for the number of jobs created.   “ France has made R&D a national priority with the best research tax credit in Europe, increasingly influential innovation clusters and funding for tomorrow’s technology industries. This policy clearly makes France more attractive to investment. In the last two years, the number of investment projects involving foreign R&D centers has increased sharply, rising to 42 in 2009 ,” explains David Appia, Chairman and CEO of the IFA.     The Invest in France Agency (IFA) promotes and facilitates international investment in France. The IFA network operates worldwide. The IFA works in partnership with regional development agencies to offer international investors business opportunities and customized services all over France. For more information, please visit .   The Invest in France Agency’s contact in Singapore Embassy of France in Singapore   Press contact:   Ms. Ratchaneekorn Mekchai Deputy Commercial Attache Press and Communication French Trade Commission - UBIFRANCE French Embassy in Thailand Tel: +66 (0)2 352 41 19 Fax: +66 (0)2 237 61 62        

Arbitration reform makes France more attractive for international law firms

Ratchaneekorn Mekchai - 25-févr.-2011 09:41:20
Almost half of the world’s top 100 commercial law firms have offices in Paris. With an average staff of 140, these offices employ around 7,000 people in Paris, of whom almost 4,000 are lawyers (Source: Radiographie des cabinets d’avocats d’affaires en France , 2009).These firms (usually American) include Reed Smith , Morgan Lewis, Orrick, K&L Gates, Nixon Peabody and Bryan Cave.   Their business involves not only legal counseling and litigation in French courts, but also international arbitration, for which Paris is the leading European venue due to the presence in the city, since 1923, of the International Chamber of Commerce’s ( ICC) International Court of Arbitration. In 2009, the ICC Court registered almost 900 new arbitration cases.   The arbitration process, which provides an alternative for settling commercial disputes between companies of all nationalities , takes place behind closed doors. The parties themselves choose the arbitrators who make up the arbitration panel.   International arbitration in France operates within the framework of two decrees issued in the early 1980s with a view to streamlining the process and improving its effectiveness. These decrees allow government judges to intervene in Court matters in order to ensure that it functions as it should.   After 30 years, the need for reform was apparent, and on January 13, 2011, France issued an arbitration reform decree . This decree has two objectives: to consolidate some of the advances in case law and to improve the effectiveness of the previous decrees by incorporating provisions inspired by foreign laws that have proved useful in practice.   According to IFA Chairman and CEO David Appia, “ There are a large number of commercial law firms in Paris to take advantage of the proximity of the International Chamber of Commerce and its Court of Arbitration, which settles international commercial disputes. These firms provide valuable legal counsel and support for foreign investors in France. The recent modernization of arbitration strengthens Paris as a business location; there is every reason for foreign commercial law firms to continue to locate in Paris, to the benefit of foreign investors as a whole.”   The Invest in France Agency (IFA) is the national agency responsible for promoting and facilitating international investment in France. It also coordinates initiatives to promote France’s economic attractiveness. The IFA network operates worldwide, with offices in France as well as in North and South America, Europe, the Middle East and Asia. In France, the IFA works in partnership with regional development agencies to offer international investors outstanding business opportunities and customized services.   For further information, please visit:
                       Business France Thailand, Myanmar and Laos With offices and branches in Bangkok, Yangon and Vientiane , Business France -The French Trade Commission of the Embassy of France- assists French companies who want to export to Thailand, Myanmar, Laos, and local companies who want to invest in France. Business France is the national agency supporting the international development of the French economy, responsible for fostering export growth by French businesses, as well as promoting and facilitating international investment in France. It promotes France’s companies, business image and nationwide attractiveness as an investment location, and also runs the V.I.E international internship program. Founded on January 1, 2015 through a merger between UBIFRANCE and the Invest in France Agency, Business France has 1,500 personnel, both in

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