Innovation Ignites the City of Lights: Cooperation with France is the New Black

As the United Kingdom ever so gracelessly approaches its inescapable economic doom come March 2019, Paris is increasingly becoming an attractive business destination and commercial hub for many foreign ventures. Indeed, the young French President has repeatedly given vital reinforcing statements to support these trends, encouraging business and sharing his vision that France would become a “startup nation”, a term that has been coined to describe none other than the state of Israel, an innovative inspiration to all.

When faced with the possibility of doing business with France, many Israelis are somewhat deterred. Fears ranging from scrutinizing French bureaucracy to language barriers, all discourage many Israelis from engaging with French initiatives. This however, should not dishearten investors and business operatives whom are striving to expand their business network and fields of operation. France is currently undergoing a radical change, driven mainly by its youngsters and young adults, children of the European Union, who wish to bridge over barriers rather than widen them. As the old French elite retires from key roles in the public and private sector alike, more cosmopolitan and business oriented individuals bolster a pro market disposition, which encourages ease of doing business, and of course, speaking English.

Israeli companies have a lot to offer to the French market. After years of lagging behind, France is now craving knowledge pertaining to startups and innovation. The Paris Institute of Political Studies (commonly referred as Sciences Po), one of France’s most elite institutions, has erected in recent years a center for young entrepreneurs. As one of the most selective institutions in the country, where many of France’s leaders have received their education (Mr. Macron included), this says a lot about France’s orientation and welcomed changed approach to business and entrepreneurship. In addition to years of experience and expertise pertaining to innovation, Israeli-French partnerships are highly appealing because there is a rather large number of francophone people in the country (more than 200,000 strong). Although the French market is increasingly becoming more open to the possibility of speaking and conducting business in English, having a French speaker on board on the Israeli side can’t hurt, what shouldn’t be too difficult to find in this market abundant with multi-lingual individuals.

About the Author
Sharon holds a Master's degree in Political Science from Tel Aviv University and the prestigious Paris Institute of Political Studies, commonly referred as Sciences Po. During her studies in Paris, Sharon had interned at the Permanent Mission of Israel to the OECD, and was selected as spokesperson on behalf of the European Union of Jewish Students at the Human Rights Council at the United Nations in Geneva.
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