Emmanuel Macron, the President of France, has reportedly unveiled an ambitious €30 billion ($35 billion) plan to develop next-gen high-tech leaders of the future and overcome years of the industrial downturn in the eurozone's second-largest economy.
According to reports, the plan, called ‘France 2030’ envisions investing the aforementioned capital over a five-year period in industries such as renewable and nuclear energy, electric vehicles, semiconductors, and robots.
President Macron, addressed the nation from Elysee Palace, stating that he wants France to look forward and acknowledge its flaws and strengths. Macron went on to add that the French public needs the nation to produce more.
France 2030 is the most recent instance of the French government pouring public funds towards a hoped-for French industrial renaissance. Following the global economic crisis, then-French President, Nicolas Sarkozy, had rolled out a $35-billion future investment initiative, which has since been renewed three times.
According to Macron, the newly announced plan is different because it would take higher risks and not depend on well-established industrial enterprises.
Despite numerous attempts by successive governments, the supposed share of industry within the French economy has steadily gone down, and the country has not had a recorded a surplus of commodities trade surplus since 2002.
Approximately six months before France’s presidential election, President Macron is under pressure to demonstrate that he can turn around these prospects, notably in former industrial strongholds, where he suffered to gain votes back in 2017.
The plan comes less than a year after the €100 billion "France Relaunch" initiative, which intended to move beyond crisis expenditures to resolve the country's longer-term issues of low capital investment and hiring. According to the French government's estimates, approximately a third of that plan would still remain unused at the end of 2021.
The investment plans are consistent with the French industrial strategy, but they are gradually putting Macron on the defensive in Europe, where other nations are discussing the necessity to return to some sort of fiscal restraint after crisis-spending bloated deficits during the pandemic.
Macron's decision is all the more shocking considering that when his administration originally proposed France 2030, it stated that European collaborations would be a requirement for success.