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Macron Shows Protectionist Stance to Safeguard Vulnerable Companies

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Macron's Protectionist Measures to Safeguard Vulnerable Firms

French President Emmanuel Macron is implementing stronger protectionist measures to shield vulnerable French firms from foreign buyers, particularly those from the US and China. The French government plans to tighten rules on takeovers by non-European Union investors, lowering the threshold for triggering a review and expanding the number of protected areas. Discussions are also underway to explore a more aggressive approach, including state-backed funds acquiring technology abroad. France's push for a robust European industrial policy has gained momentum due to the pandemic, geopolitical tensions, and the need to protect key industries from unfair competition. The challenges of competition between allies and the desire to safeguard sovereignty while attracting foreign investors pose a delicate balancing act for Macron. The focus remains on protecting French assets, with ongoing debates about preventing the acquisition of ailing tech company Atos SE.

Impact on New Businesses

Macron's protectionist measures could potentially create a challenging environment for new businesses, especially those with foreign roots or funding. The tightened rules on takeovers by non-European Union investors could limit the scope for foreign investment, which often serves as a crucial lifeline for start-ups and growing businesses.

Challenges and Opportunities

While these measures may pose difficulties, they could also present opportunities. The push for a robust European industrial policy could stimulate growth and innovation within the region, offering new businesses a chance to thrive in a protected market. Furthermore, the potential for state-backed funds to acquire technology abroad could open up avenues for tech start-ups to secure substantial investment.
The Balancing Act
However, the delicate balancing act of safeguarding sovereignty while attracting foreign investors could lead to an unpredictable business environment. New businesses may need to navigate a landscape of shifting policies and regulations. In conclusion, while Macron's protectionist measures aim to protect French firms, they could present both challenges and opportunities for new businesses.
Story First Published at: https://financialpost.com/pmn/business-pmn/macron-flexes-protectionist-muscle-to-shield-vulnerable-firms
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