export is paved with good intentions – L’Express

export is paved with good intentions – LExpress

Champion of avant-garde start-ups and gigantic gigafactories, Emmanuel Macron is enjoying a short break from economic normality. This Tuesday, November 21, the Head of State will receive a delegation of SMEs and ETIs at the Elysée, these mid-sized companies employing 250 to 5,000 employees. Agenda: the battle for export.

The bleak picture is well known: last year, the country’s trade deficit reached 164 billion euros, a record since 1949. France buys far more outside its borders than it sells. And its SMEs, which only represent 2% of exports in value, are not jostling for the diving board in the international deep end: only 20% of them trade abroad, compared to 80% for their overseas counterparts. Rhine.

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“France has not inherited a tradition as a major exporting country. The same is true for Great Britain, unlike Germany, Italy, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Denmark, which are merchant countries”, recently recalled Nicolas Dufourcq, the general director of BPI France, the public investment bank.

Take care of your mount

After the Liberation, the Gaullo-Pompidolian “industrial imperative” favored the creation of French champions capable of spreading globally in a few key sectors: aeronautics, nuclear power, petrochemicals, etc. Conversely, in Germany, groups linked to the economy of Nazi war were dissolved, accelerating the emergence of a myriad of family businesses, centered on cutting-edge expertise, and all the more sensitive to exports as they often retained their historic headquarters in remote towns – the famous Middle stand. As for Italy, freed from a fascist bureaucracy which swore only by large state enterprise, it built its “economic miracle” on a dynamic fabric of small structures, a mixture of craftsmanship and light manufacturing.

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To make up for this cultural gap, and open up new horizons for them, the Elysée now wants to help small business owners go more often to international trade fairs, in order to praise their services and products. A measure, unveiled at the end of August in the “Dare to export!” plan. of the government, even provides for a public subsidy covering 30% of their costs to be paid to them. Useful, but time-consuming, this prospecting exercise would undoubtedly be appreciated by those interested. If the State gave them the freedom to devote themselves to it…

However, in an open letter addressed to Emmanuel Macron and published by La Tribune Sunday, officials from Medef, CPME and the Union of Local Enterprises deplore the fact that VSE-SME managers are still obliged to spend up to a third of their time untangling the legislative and regulatory tangle that complicates their activity, within the country itself. Taking care – and lightening – of your mount: the safest way to travel far.