To improve export performances and to support the international development of the French economy, the Government is pursuing its reform strategy presented by the Prime Minister on 23 February 2018 in Roubaix in three directions, which will pave the way for major changes:
- Giving companies access to human resources staff who are internationally trained, given that the long-term success of an export business is largely determined by the level of skills of the human resource staff. It is important to develop and add to academic programmes available to students to continue expanding the International Internship Programme (VIE), as well as to train heads of SMEs and their staff on how to develop their company internationally.
- Reforming public action to support exports to turn regions into launch pads for international business, with the central government and regions working together and in conjunction with all the public and private Team France Export partners.
- Reforming export financing and ensuring a greater local presence to access public financing opportunities abroad.
The Government wishes to make regions and local actors the cornerstone of public action to support exports because this is where the battle is being waged. Team France Export consists of a regional network of one-stop service providers managed by regions. This network brings together all public and private partners working for Business France offices and chambers of commerce and industry to prepare and support a larger number of SMEs and intermediate-sized companies.
This new initiative will rely on new tools. For example, by the end of 2019, regional digital platforms will feature all the support options for exports and export financing available.
The new one-stop service providers offer comprehensive and clear services to companies to support exports. Single points of contact are designated abroad. They may be Business France or private partners chosen through public tenders. Under the supervision of ambassadors, all government networks abroad are working to implement this reform.
In order to provide French companies with greater influence abroad as activity resumes and foreign competition increases, the France Relance plan provides financial support of €247 million to companies for 2020-2022, particularly SMEs and mid-caps, as they work to develop their export business.
Although French exports had been winning back markets for the past two years and growing faster than global trade, the health crisis has stopped this progress in its tracks. Following the creation of an emergency support plan for exporting companies in April 2020, the new measures proposed aim to maintain the momentum of 2018-2019 and reposition French SMEs and mid-caps wishing to export in a context of increased activity on certain international markets, heightened foreign competition and less risk tolerance from private financial actors. They make up the essential export component of the recovery plan, seeking to improve the energy and competitiveness of French companies.
The export component of the recovery plan has five main themes:
- Theme 1: Better inform companies
- Theme 2: Facilitate business development activities.
- Theme 3: Support young people through the International Corporate Volunteering (VIE) initiative
- Theme 4: Strengthen financing tools for our companies
- Theme 5: Launch a communications campaign for brand France
The France Relance plan on the Government website: https://www.gouvernement.fr/en/european-aspects-of-france-s-recovery-plan
Updated: September 2020