Identify and promote French entrepreneurs abroad, in particular thanks to a “label” promoting French know-how: this is the subject of a bill voted widely on Tuesday at first reading in the Senate. The text is carried by two senators representing the French established outside France, business leaders and attached to the group Les Républicains, Evelyne Renaud-Garabedian and Jean-Pierre Bansard.
The government "welcomes the spirit" of the bill, said Olivier Becht, Minister for Foreign Trade, Attractiveness and French People Abroad. But he noted that the subject was “complex”. For Evelyne Renaud-Garabedian, "France has everything to gain from better knowing and promoting these entrepreneurs, who are true ambassadors of France's influence in the world".
The text, rewritten in committee, begins by defining the French entrepreneur abroad: "A citizen of French nationality, registered in the register of French people established outside France, who creates, provides general management or exercises effective control of the capital of an enterprise governed by local law (...), or holds a share thereof equal to the maximum permitted by local law". It organizes their census, which would be entrusted to “an identification committee” made up in particular of representatives of French chambers of commerce and industry abroad.
The Senate adopted an amendment by Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne (RDPI with a Renaissance majority) stipulating that the secretariat of this committee would be provided by the economic service of the French embassy. And another from the centrist Olivier Cadic to specify that only entrepreneurs who wish to do so would be identified as such. The text finally proposes the creation of a “label” aimed at promoting them, the terms of attribution of which would be specified by decree, as well as its name. The authors of the bill had opted for the name "Made by French", which was not retained in committee.
The network of French entrepreneurs in the world is estimated at 130,000, according to the report by Serge Babary (LR). "This bill reminds us that France has international assets that are insufficiently mobilized, while our trade balance and our influence in the world are in great need of them," said the president of the Economic Affairs Committee. Sophie Primas (LR).