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The Attractiveness Of France

This is the time of year many of us think about New Year’s Resolutions. I’ve discovered that not only can an individual make them, but an entire country can make them, too.

Just a couple of weeks ago (December 11th), Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin organized a seminar of government ministers devoted to the “attractiveness” of France. The phrase in French was “le premier séminaire de ministres consacré à l’attractivité de la France.”

I chuckle softly because the translator of the document didn’t see the “faux amis” in the seductive and sexual connotation of the English word “attractiveness” from an American cultural context…and I find it totally endearing and so very French to want to be attractive to the world.

Regardless, this is all very exciting news and you’re going to be hearing more from us about this as the new measures are adopted and we, the foreigners, the aliens, the outsiders, the immigrants…benefit from these reforms.

Let me give you a little glimpse into their main objectives…to:

1. Attract the world’s leading experts in growth sectors.
2. Radically improve the conditions of entry and residence for impatriate managers and their families.
3. Make France the leading host country in Europe for students preparing a master’s degree or doctorate in scientific, technical and management subjects.
4. Improve the tax competitiveness of France, in particular, as regards to research and development and innovation.
5. More effectively support new business start-up in France.
6. Enhance the legal security for investors — simplifying and modernizing the law.
7. Attract the establishment of headquarters and decision-making bodies of international companies.
8. Make France a preferred host country for international organizations and non-governmental organizations.
9. Enhance the competitiveness of France in cinema and arts.
10. Enhance the competitiveness of France as a European financial center.

Now all this may sound like a lot of hot air, much like New Year’s Resolutions which fall by the wayside before long. But from the details of the report I hold in my hand, if even half of these initiatives pass muster, we, the foreigners, the aliens, the outsiders, the immigrants…will have a real opportunity to establish a life here as easily as any native-born Frenchman and hold a place in French society equal to our French counterparts.

It brings tears to my eyes…especially after the ordeal I suffered at the Préfecture de Police just yesterday to do something as simple as make an appointment at the OMI for a medical exam for my daughter to finalize her Carte de Résident!

And that, my dear, is a whole other story…

A la prochaine…

Adrian Leeds
Editor, Parler Paris
E-mail: [email protected]

P.S. To discuss these initiatives at length, an official of the Invest in France Agency North America will be speaking at the Living and Investing in France Conference, March 19 – 21, 2004, San Francisco. For more information or to register for the event, visit /frenchproperty/conference/LIFhome.html

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