France’s Ambition for Paris’ Financial Centre [fr]
Paris already has great potential to become the financial center of continental Europe.
Edouard Philippe, Prime Minister of France, Anne Hidalgo, Mayor of Paris, Valérie Pécresse, President of the Île-de-France Region, and Patrick Ollier, President of the Métropole du Grand Paris, are working to make Paris Europe’s leading financial centre after Brexit.
Edouard Philippe set out with Benjamin Griveaux, the Minister of State, attached to the Minister of Economy and Finance, the following measures to make the Paris financial centre more attractive and their positive impacts for the French economy:
- Improving tax policy stability and clarity
Economic operators need stable and predictable tax policy. In the autumn, the Government will put forward a bill on public finance planning to present a tax policy trajectory for businesses with the gradual reduction of corporate taxes by 2020 to 25%, within the European average, and capital taxation reform (solidarity tax on wealth and lump sum withholding) in order to boost the incentive to do business and develop activities in our country and to invest in equity capital of French companies. The Government will reconsider the extension of the financial transaction tax to include intraday operations voted in 2016 without preparation because it is not applicable and would penalize the Paris financial centre and the coherence of our tax policy.
-* Making qualified finance professions more competitive in France to develop the French labour market
Promoting the competitiveness of our economy is an overarching goal of the Government, who must also take the specificities of the extremely globalized financial sector into consideration with mobile career paths and cyclical activity. To reduce the cost differentials of highly qualified labour in the financial sector versus comparable European economies, the higher rate of 20% for the top band of payroll tax introduced in 2013 will be eliminated to foster the creation of direct and indirect jobs. To reduce uncertainty and the costs of terminating employment contracts in the finance sector, deferred bonuses of some finance employees, governed by European rules (including risk takers and traders) will not be included in the calculation of severance pay. The reform of labour law, which has started with the enabling bill for strengthening social dialogue, will more generally provide a clearer and simpler framework regarding working relationships for companies that are investing in our country.
In order to facilitate job moves to France and international mobility, a system to gradually provide retirement insurance for employees from abroad will be studied with a view to its implementation before Brexit.
- Showcasing the Paris financial centre and our legal expertise
Paris is a financial and legal centre and its global quality is a major asset. The Ministry of Justice, with support from the Paris Bar Association, will develop a judicial system to deal with international business disputes, with the creation of a specialized chamber in the Paris Court of Appeal based on the experience of the International Chamber of the Paris Commercial Court. This project will be included in the five-year act on resources for the justice system.
-* Addressing the “gold-plating” of European directives and committing to long-term simplification
The Government is extremely determined to stop the “gold-plating” of European directives transposed into French law. Initial measures to undo the over-implementation of economic and financial directives will be included in the bill on correcting errors and simplification which will be presented to the Council of Ministers in late July. Consultation will be launched to compile examples of “gold-plating” and over-regulation to be examined with a view to establishing a bill on simplifying financial and corporate law.
-* Developing international education possibilities in the Île-de-France Region
The Île-de-France Region and the Ministry of National Education have committed to developing international hubs (primary and secondary schools) and international sections in the Île-de-France region. Three new international secondary schools will be created. At the start of the 2017 academic year, the Lycée Lucie Aubrac in Courbevoie, near La Défense business quarter, will become an international secondary school. The Government will fine tune its ability to work with local government in establishing an education system capable of meeting the challenge of enrolling additional students.
The Prime Minister, in liaison with the Minister of National Education and the President of the Île-de-France Region, has appointed Daniel Filatre, the Chief Education Officer of Versailles, and Agnès Evren, Vice-President responsible for Education and Culture, to oversee the implementation of the plan.
- Making the sustainable European city of Paris more attractive by improving its connections with the main economic capitals
The Government confirms the timeframe and the financing of the key infrastructures that are essential to the appeal of France and Paris as a leading international financial centre with the CDG-Express line. Essential stages have been completed over the past 12 months regarding the legal and financial plans that have been approved by the European Commission. These provisions provide that the Groupe ADP, SNCF Réseau and CDC will invest €400 million in equity capital in the future company responsible for building and operating the new infrastructure. In addition, ADP will provide a €100 million recoverable advance. Making our transport system attractive in the Île-de-France Region is all the more crucial given our desire to host the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris.