Tuesday, 8 May 2018

StudyAbroad: French President Macron launches tech visa

Study Abroad: French President Macron launches tech visa to make France a 'country of unicorns'
  • A new tech visa seeks to attract international talent to the country
  • "I want France to attract new entrepreneurs, new researchers, and be the nation for innovation and start-ups," the new French president told CNBC
  • Venture capital investment in France hit $1.6 billion in 2017

France launched a technology visa on Thursday which aims to attract international talent, with newly-elected President Emmanuel Macron talking about the need to strip out regulation to become a "country of unicorns".

Also Read: France to Attract 10,000 Indian Students By 2020

Speaking at the Viva Tech conference in Paris, France, Macron outlined how his government would slash complex regulation, make it easier for foreign talent to work, and support start-ups with money, in order to create world-leading companies.

The visa is open to startup founders, employees and investors and is a fast-track procedure to obtain a residence permit in France known as the "Talent Passport". It's valid for four years and extended to immediate family members.

"I want France to attract new entrepreneurs, new researchers, and be the nation for innovation and startups," Macron told CNBC on the sidelines of the event, prior to the announcement.

​Macron said that French talent often leaves the country because the environment is not attractive enough. The key is training and keeping talent in the country.

"The bet of the future for us is to carry on educating our talents, taking our students to the highest levels of academic success. We must defend our educational model, we must help our students go further," Macron said.

Another proposal put forward by Macron was a European Venture Fund that can support start-ups as they grow. And he spoke about the need for the Digital Single Market – a European Commission policy that aims to harmonize rules from streaming services to roaming charges.

Venture capital investment in France hit $1.6 billion in 2016, a steady level from the $1.7 billion the year before. It still lags the likes of Germany and the U.K. but has seen a lot of investors jump into the market. It also boasts its fair share of unicorns such as long-distance ride sharing company BlaBlaCar.

"Entrepreneur is the new France."

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