Headline June 05, 2018/ ''' FRANCE'S *START-UP* FRAMING '''



WHEN PRESIDENT EMMANUEL MACRON of France took office, he took pains to include two  iPhones in his official portrait, a symbol of his penchant for technology.

Millennials throng as he buzzes from one French start-up event to the very next. He has wined and dined the chief executives of the world's largest tech companies, who in turn have vowed to invest  billions in France.

Yet a year after Macron unveiled an aggressive agenda to turn France into ''a start-up nation,'' it is unclear if reality has kept pace with his rhetoric.

While the country has quickly become one of the most talked-about destinations in Europe for tech companies and start-ups, France will face an uphill path in its bid for to usurp London as the region's technology leader.

The French President has carefully cultivated a tech-savvy image, promoted a steady drumbeat of  high-profile events, and even pushed through a raft of economic and labor reforms to make his country more appealing to investors.

But France continues to lag behind Britain in tech-related investments and in the business of  artificial intelligence. Startups still face challenges in scaling up. And a lot of seed funding comes from the French government itself.

Companies have been pledging to do more in France. In January, for example, the chief executives of the world's biggest technology companies announced 3.5 billion Euros, $4.1 billion, in new investments and the creation of at least 2,200 jobs over the next 5 years.

Those figures minuscule compared with investment in Silicon Valley, or even London. Mr. Macron nevertheless sought to build on France's momentum one last week, when he convened a 60 tech chief executives for meetings in Paris.

The French President met individually with the Facebook chief executive, Mark Zuckerberg, and with the leaders of IBM, Microsoft and Uber on Wednesday last at the Elysee Palace.

The official focus of the talks, which preceded a giant technology and start-up conference being held in Paris, was data privacy.

The meetings came a day after Mr. Zuckerberg faced strident questioning at the European Parliament in Brussels on privacy failures linked to the Cambridge Analytica fiasco.

Facebook has faced a barrage of public criticism over its handling of user data and vast powers, points Mr. Macron pressed further.

Before the meeting, the president's office said that Mr. Macron would have frank discussions with the various chief executives over the taxation of tech companies and fighting the proliferation of rumors and misinformation spreading online.

The meeting came as French lawmakers were expected to debate additional transparency measures  for social media companies like Facebook.

''Clearly there has been a Macron effect,'' said Franck Sebag, a Paris-based partner at the the  professionals services Ernst & Young, who has studied France's digital trajectory.

''Few people were even talking about France as a tech country a few years ago,'' Mr. Sebag said.

''He's ignited a willingness to invest''.

The Honor and Serving of the Latest Operational Research on Countries, Markets and Start-ups continues. The World Students Society thanks author and researcher Liz Alderman.

With respectful dedication to the Leaders, Technologists, Startups,  Students, Professors and Teachers of France, and then the world.

See Ya all ''register'' on !WOW!, The World Students Society, for every subject in the world and Twitter -!E-WOW! - the Ecosystem 2011 :

 '''Challenges & Charmings'''

Good Night and God Bless

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