France increases restrictions on foreign investment in strategic sectors

France increases restrictions on foreign investment in strategic sectors

Source: Expansión
08/01/2019

France has expanded the number of sectors that require prior authorization for foreign investments, in a decree that entered into force on January 1. In a statement, the Ministry of Economy and Finance said that the “reinforcement of the list” aims to “adapt the French device to contemporary challenges that may represent some foreign investments”.

The sectors that were considered strategic in matters of “public order or security or national defense” are now joined by others linked to the research and development of new technologies. Thus, the new list includes the aerospace and civil protection sectors, Research and Development in the areas of cybersecurity, artificial intelligence, robotics, semiconductors and sensitive data servers.

The ministry supervised by Bruno Le Maire reminds that the provisions “are in accordance with the guidelines” of the European Union, that are close to being adopted and which France has defended with vehemence in the European Council. According to the minister, the expansion of the list “protects better from hostile acquisitions” the French companies engaged in R & D in the most cutting-edge technology sectors.

“We want to put in place strong measures when our rules are not respected by investors”, the minister said.