Britain and France have long been rivals on many fronts, but recently their rivalry has seen new grounds. London and Paris have been battling it out on the technological scene to attract multinational tech businesses to their quarters in hopes of establishing themselves as Europe’s tech capitals, as is Silicon Valley for the Americas. As the two adopted rather opposing strategies: Britain making simpler grounds for tech companies to establish base while France played a little “hard to get” with its national pride, Britain managed to secure a strong foundation of well-established tech firms which in turn extended to create grounds to attract even more tech savvy startups than expected. As London rode the waves of its own victory over the years, certain political developments undermined the world’s confidence in London as a strategic location in Europe for tech development.
The first, and perhaps most important, of these was Brexit. Britain leaving the European landscape did not only bring about the dissolving of many economic and trade ties, it also gave rise to a serious crack down on many policies that the country held dear. As part of a reevaluation and reassessment of tech laws, many officials demanded penalization of unethical data collection and other acts on the part of tech companies, which although morally correct and supported highly by the people of Great Britain, unsurprisingly nudged tech companies away from London who had rediscovered the country’s rival tech capital Paris to invest in.
France has always been a proud nation in more ways than one. This also entails a sense of a community within the French people in which they are unbelievably supportive of local startups. On the other end of this, however, the same sense of community somehow creates a tendency in which the French give a tough time to foreign companies that try to establish base in their quarters. This has been a driving factor, along with a set of strict unfavorable laws that restrict tech firms, that has prevented France from rising on the tech scene. Since Brexit, though, and the appointment of Donald Trump bringing about strict immigration and economic changes in the United States, France has come forward as a more strategic location for European tech base due to its connections with the rest of the continent and its onset of stability on the economic front. The efforts of French President Emannuel Macron have not failed to leave many keen on investing their millions and billions in the newly tech savvy land of the French either.
The marvelous victory of the French national football team bringing home the 2018 Football World Cup trophy is definitely going to be doing more than just adding a notch under France’s belt in the sports world; it will have a very real and measurable impact on all departments of France’s booming economy, especially the industry of technology. Since the victory just a few hours ago, the value of France’s tech scene has gone up as the French return home with a greater sense of confidence and drive, something that directly translates into a thriving economy. France has spent the last five years portraying an outward and open image of itself and proving on many occasions that it is outgoing, resilient, and “in it to win it” (literally, today). As technology is at the center of everything in today’s generation, France making its presence known on the world stage will prove to attract the inflow of positive energy and productivity through the country’s borders and as President Macron’s agenda has always been centered on the development of technology in the country, investors are sure to be welcome with open arms this time around.
Analyzing the victory from a macroeconomic standpoint, we can expect the sense of community to contribute slightly towards the country’s gross domestic product as people rejoice in celebration and national pride for the rest of the week. However, this cannot be expected to translate into a long term benefit as gross domestic product calculations are grand in the face of celebratory additions such as late night festivities. What can be expected to impact the country’s developing industries significantly is the publicity that the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) draws in. Just as many businesses have piggybacked on the world cup ride world wide to promote their products, France will now have a reason to continue doing so even after the cup has been won. As football is front and center in the video gaming industry as well as the general tech industry, France’s home victory will invite many local and international startups and companies to invest in the development of football related technology such as tech enhancements for the game, its hosting stadiums, and peripheral devices involved in ensuring fair play. France’s victory will also draw a lot of attention towards video game development in the country as well as general improvement in the tech scene as the victory is celebrated now and moving forward.
Although the World Cup victory will initially attract a football related tech base, this can be expected to morph into a general technological boom as President Macron has adapted many business (and especially tech) friendly policies that will urge new businesses to stay and encourage more to join them. This is expected to turn into a domino effect that secures France’s efforts to become the tech capital of Europe and even the tech capital of the East, giving Silicon Valley some considerable competition. It is clear that President Macron has been interested in establishing a world top 5 worthy tech company’s base in France just as Silicon Valley holds some of the world’s top many, and this may just be his ticket in to attract it.
It seems that big names like Apple, Microsoft, Google, and Facebook already have well established headquarters in the United States, but reports have been emerging for a while that many top such CEOs and company representatives have been having serious closed-door meetings with the French President and economists predict that this recent victory may be another inviting stepping stone nudging better relations between the French and pre-existing tech firms. Over the last decade, France has seen a rise in locally inspired and motivated tech startups and that number has steadily been increasing, only expected to increase more now that another push of confidence has been thrown into the street level mix. As video game developers come into the scene to harness much of the inspiring energy on the streets, we can expect other resource providers such as social media companies and service providers like Uber to establish regional bases in the country as well. What’s more is that France offers a French Tech Visa that translates into a talent passport for “startup founders, employees, and investors” for four years at a time extended to additional family members as well and not deterred by any need of a work permit.
Can we expect tech manufacturers like Huawei and LG to start opening factories in France? Probably not, because a lot more goes into that actual manufacturing of products than a football victory. There are many economic policies regarding wages, labor, and tariffs to factor in, but we are sure that as far as the creative design headquarters are concerned, we can expect to find many of those popping up around France very soon. This is expected to have a ripple effect, too. The more tech blooms in the country, the more policies are expected to be relaxed as President Macron drives his agenda just as he has after meeting with top executives of Uber and Facebook along with many others in tech summits all year thus far. It’s safe to say that France’s world cup victory may mean more to the country than just a golden trophy and it’s also safe to put your money on the fact that Paris is about to be known for more than just fashion.