The 2013/05/06 at 07:55
22 March 2013, at the French presidential palace. Facing André Marcon, President of the CCI France, but also in the presence of Jean-Louis Nesti, President of the CCI of Corrèze, François Hollande stated his desire to sign a Confidence Pact between the State and the national network of Chambers of Commerce. The aim: to demonstrate the government’s place alongside all French CCIs when it comes to injecting the local economy with dynamism and modernity. The State Head’s commitments are to be translated by initiatives serving enterprises in different domains: youth employment, simplification of administrative procedures, financing, updating of production apparatus, and support in international procedures.
The signing of this Confidence Pact is to take place by the end of June this year. “CCIs play an essential role for companies, particularly during crisis times. As the representatives of companies, they are legitimate as political relays throughout the French territories,” recalled the President of the French Republic. What remains to be ascertained is what Chambers concretely expect from these presidential vows.
André Marcon made it known during his visit to the presidential palace that “the network was completely mobilised around these objectives and ready to commit to acting in favour of the country’s economic recovery.” Meanwhile, the Paris Chamber of Commerce underlines the importance of defining a clarified and stable tax and labour framework in order to restore the confidence of various economic players. To establish its wish list, it relied on its last annual survey carried out at the end of 2012 amongst 5,000 enterprises throughout the country, in collaboration with Médiamétrie. The conclusions of this survey reveal “a general degradation” in the situation of companies. Several indicators such as turnover, financial situation, investment and employment, reveal a slowdown suffered by SMEs in particular throughout 2012.
The indicators translate growing concern amongst company heads regarding future prospects. Large companies also indicate an unusual level of concern. “The ambient pessimism and fear of the future represent extra obstacles for SMEs. To restore their confidence, new tools, regulatory improvements, are key elements for bringing back vigorousness and dynamism,” underlines André Marcon. “Funds available via the Banque Publique d’Investissement (BPI or Public Investment Bank) should be able to play a major role. Company heads expect considerable guarantees in terms of financing solutions.” The CCI France is also adding its stone to the edifice in this domain by envisaging the creation of an observatory aimed at measuring the lever effect that the BPI will bring to enterprises. Findings can thus feed discussions in the context of steering committees determining the improvements to implement.
The CCI of Paris believes that the Confidence Pact desired by the French government will be more efficient if tangible measures are specified to promote entrepreneurship and the development of company projects. The Chamber also comments that the responses to the survey carried out with Médiamétrie should be read as an appeal by company heads for the setting up of an economic and tax environment that is more favourable for enterprises. “Beyond the urgency of cleaning up public accounts, the government should pay attention to the need to raise national competitiveness. While a competitiveness shock is needed rapidly to cut company production costs, companies also need more flexibility to adapt to changing environments. The capacity to invest in order to innovate is an indispensable condition for better quality,” indicates the Chamber.
According to André Marcon, the same goes for entrepreneurial spirit: “facilitating all systems surrounding company creation and management is absolutely necessary to whet the desire to do business.”