President Emmanuel Macron on Tuesday announced a plan worth 30 billion euros ($35 billion) to re-industrialise France, saying the country should reclaim its crown as a global leader in innovation.
Speaking at the Elysee Palace six months before a presidential election and one month ahead of a UN climate summit, Macron said France had taken key decisions “15-20 years later than some of our European neighbours” and now needed to “to become again a nation of innovation and research”.
The spending was to address “a kind of growth deficit” for France brought on by insufficient investment in the past, he told an audience of company leaders and university students.
France, he said, needed to return to “a virtuous cycle” which consisted of “innovating, producing and exporting and in that way finance our social model”.
Over the next decade, France would aim to become a global leader in green hydrogen and put two million electric or hybrid cars on the roads, he said.
Macron said France would also invest 1 billion euros by 2030 in “disruptive innovation” to produce atomic power, notably by designing small-size nuclear reactors.