PARIS: President Emmanuel Macron on Tuesday announced a plan worth 30 billion euros ($35 billion) to re-industrialise France, saying the country should reclaim its crown as a global leader in innovation.
Speaking at the Elysee Palace six months before a presidential election and one month ahead of a UN climate summit, Macron said France had taken key decisions “15-20 years later than some of our European neighbours” and now needed “to become a nation of innovation and research again”.
The spending was to address “a kind of growth deficit” for France brought on by insufficient investment in the past, he told an audience of company leaders and university students.
France, he said, needed to return to “a virtuous cycle” which consisted of “innovating, producing and exporting and in that way finance our social model” as part of a new “France 2030” plan.
Over the next decade, France would aim to become a global leader in green hydrogen, which companies and governments are increasingly putting at the centre of efforts to de-carbonise economic sectors that rely most on fossil fuels for their energy needs. Macron singled out steel production, cement and the chemical sector, as well as truck, bus, rail and air transport.