Last Wednesday, the French Digital Minister said that France is aiming to “outperform” the tech sector of the United Kingdom in the coming years.
The Minister for the Digital Economy of France, Cedric O, informed journalists: “The leading tech ecosystem in Europe is actually now in the UK. First, we had to develop the French ecosystem. Now we want to be the first European ecosystem so our model is the UK, we want to outperform the UK. Then we want to outperform Israel and then, ok, the US [is] perhaps out of reach.”
The remarks came at a press conference on the sidelines of the Paris Blockchain Week summit. The two-day private sector event, which has received significant support from the government, showcased the credentials of France as a hub for the emerging technology.
O’s remarks come amid a wider effort by the government to turn France into a major hub for technology. Emmanuel Macron, the President of France, has said that he wants to turn France into a “startup nation” and has pursued tech businesses with investment, tax breaks, and generous visa programmes.
During a speech at the Paris Blockchain Week summit, Cedric O stated: “France wants to be part of the game.”
He added: “We want to be part of the next industrial revolution and we want to be part as far as technology is concerned.”
He noted: “We want to build an environment, a framework that allows startups to grow here.”
Recently, France24 posed the question asking: “Could Macron and Brexit make Paris Europe’s tech capital?” Cedric O stopped short of saying the government is trying to lure UK tech firms as a result of Brexit but said France would welcome any who want to relocate as a result.”
He stated: “If it were only me, I would not have voted for the Brexit,” he said. “If tech companies, because of the choice of the English people, want to move or land on the continent, we’d be more than happy to welcome them.”
He continued: “We need to build a European ecosystem. As far as this question is concerned, Brexit is terrible.”