According to the employers’ union, which is back to school this week, “the main problem is not the pandemic”.
The president of Medef, Geoffroy Roux de Bézieux, July 6, 2021. (AFP / LUDOVIC MARIN)
The Medef returns to school on Wednesday 25 and Thursday 26 August at the Rencontre des entrepreneurs de France (REF), with debates centered around threatened freedoms, whether for health, climatic, political or commercial reasons. Accustomed to the event, the Minister of the Economy Bruno Le Maire will speak after the opening speech by the President of Medef, Geoffroy Roux de Bézieux.
European Commissioner for the Internal Market Thierry Breton will also intervene, at a time when “we are seeing an increase in protection, tariff or non-tariff, and a recovery in hand especially in China but also in the United States with the ‘America First’ of Trump, who has not completely disappeared with Biden “, also indicated Geoffroy Roux de Bézieux.
However, the weakening of free trade has so far not prevented activity in France from rebounding to approach its pre-crisis level, after a historic drop of 8% of GDP in 2020. “Today, the main problem of the French economy is not the pandemic, even if certain sectors remain affected, it is recruitment. We find ourselves exactly as in February 2020 “, notes the president of Medef.
The hour of the end of whatever costs has come for him, even if it is necessary to make tailor-made for the few sectors or geographical areas which still suffer, such as the Parisian hoteliers dependent on an international clientele, the sports halls or tour operators. A meeting is scheduled for Monday, August 30 in Bercy on a possible extension of certain aid.
A day dedicated to the Francophonie
As a preamble to these two days of debates, a day dedicated to the Francophonie is being held this Tuesday, August 24. Objective: “to try to create business flows between French-speaking countries”. Executives and 450 entrepreneurs from 31 countries are expected.
“Export is very protective for our companies in this period of Covid. We are doing everything to find them international outlets: the French-speaking area is a market”, explained in The echoes Fabrice Le Saché, vice-president of the employers’ organization, before adding: “We want to recreate an economic Francophonie around businesses”. “The best common denominator between heterogeneous economies are business meetings. We will review the contracts signed at the end. The objective is to annualize these meetings,” he said.
The operation also aims to boost the attractiveness of the French-speaking area, while some countries like Gabon are considering looking elsewhere. “Some Central African countries are thinking of the Commonwealth: we have to give them an added value proposition. It is also a question for the future of our language. Why are people going to learn French? Only if it is useful, if it allows them to find a job, to do business, ”continued Fabrice Le Saché.
At the end of 2020, Team France Export, a public support system for companies abroad, noted that exporting had remained the main driver of development for French mid-size companies and SMEs during the crisis, with 66% of their growth. According to the International Organization of la Francophonie (OIF), 16% of global GDP is generated by its 49 members. However, the benefits of the Francophonie are not well established.