Tuesday 11 December 2018

Macron speaks English at Versailles in lunge for post-Brexit business

French President Emmanuel Macron. Photo: Reuters
French President Emmanuel Macron. Photo: Reuters

Henry Samuel

Emmanuel Macron made his latest bid yesterday to wrest business from a post-Brexit Britain by calling on global business leaders to "Choose France" in a speech in English - an unprecedented move for a French president at home.

At a summit in Versailles, Mr Macron addressed 140 business leaders, including chiefs of Google, Goldman Sachs, Coca Cola, and Facebook while 15 members of his government, including Edouard Philippe, his prime minister, held 'speed dating' business sessions with other foreign bosses.

Mr Macron's stated aim is to sell France to investors as "the place to be" at a time when the French president has claimed the mantle of Europe's leader while the UK is mired in Brexit negotiations and Chancellor Angela Merkel is bogged down with forming a coalition government in Germany.

The summit was timed to take advantage of the arrival of global business leaders in Europe for the Davos World Economic Forum, which opens today. Mr Macron will deliver a speech there partly in English.

© Daily Telegraph, London

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