The number of French companies present on global markets needs to be increased in order to develop France’s exports. This means improving public and private provisions supporting the international development of companies, particularly SMEs and intermediate-sized enterprises. The role of every player in this area has been clarified to best take advantage of their assets, amongst both central State services and public and private operators.
France has 120,000 exporting companies: two thirds less than Germany, and half as many as Italy.
To develop the international presence of French SMEs and intermediate-sized enterprises, their competitiveness needs to be improved and they need to enjoy effective, clear and transparent support on foreign markets.
Optimizing the public provision to support businesses abroad is France’s priority, as is better coordinating export partners between one another. The reform undertaken in 2008 and the signing of a five-party convention (Directorate-General of the Treasury, Ubifrance, the Assembly of French Chambers of Commerce and Industry – ACFCI, the Union of French Chambers of Commerce and Industry Abroad – UCCIFE, and the National Committee of French External Trade Counsellors – CNCCEF) thus helped define the roles and aims of each partner and lay the foundations of a partnership. This reform was followed by the National Export Charter, signed on 12 June 2011, and its regional versions, as well as by better coordination of partners’ work.
Following on from the economic development and innovation strategy, France’s administrative Regions developed Regional Business Internationalization Plans (PRIE), setting down goals and associated efforts to help organize at local level the provisions to support the exports of the players concerned.
The organization and coordination of support structures have been reformed, best utilizing the assets of each player with the aim of creating synergies and pooling resources. This "Team Export France" comprises:
- the different State services concerned;
- Regional Councils;
- Consular chambers;
- French Chambers of Commerce and Industry abroad;
- Foreign Trade Counsellors;
- professional federations (mechanical industries, audiovisual, food production, crafts, eco-businesses, etc.);
- competitiveness clusters;
- private international trade players within the OSCI body.