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Israeli tech companies help accelerate French (digital) revolution



Many countries are interested in the benefits of innovation created in emerging countries, Israel. But the goal for France is not only to prosper Israel’s ingenuity, but to imitate it. As President Emmanuel Macron said again and again in his speech, France needs to walk with the times, embrace the digital revolution, and be a “emerging country.”

The pandemic of Coronavirus (Covid-19) accelerates the need for digitization in France, and Israeli companies face unique opportunities if they play their cards correctly. 44 economic missions operated globally by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry.

Yaron Schrotter, Director of Economic and Commercial Affairs for Israel to France. Photo: Gideon Sharon

“Even before the Covid-19 crisis, France was undergoing a digital transformation,” Schrottel told CTech. “They were also inspired by us and President Macron’s visit to Israel. He imported the term “emerging countries” and has used it since then to explain his vision for France. .. “

Macron used the term in various contexts at Vivatech in June 2017, at the French Parliament in July 2018, and at the International Agricultural Show in February 2019.

“It’s often used in France nowadays without knowing that it was born in Israel. It is very important for France to build an ecosystem of innovations. While France has a large state-of-the-art company, Relatively conservative, there has been a growing interest and need for innovation in recent years: “They are desperate for innovation, and Israeli companies have built-in advantages in this regard. , Offers innovative solutions to many industries related to France: anything from automotive industry, cyber security, retail technology to agtech and foodtech.”

Schrotter said there are some special challenges in doing business in France, but the potential benefits make it worthwhile. “Because of the size of Israeli companies, it is not easy for Israeli companies to work in France. In many respects, it’s a story of Israel’s technology industry and Israel’s economy. It’s made up and in many respects it is our job to connect with the big companies around the world, which is always a challenge, especially in France where companies are very large and the business culture here is ours. In Israel, the business culture of France is relatively loose and conservative, and it is not easy for Israeli startups to fill this gap. Companies need to make real investments, not just language barriers, but often those that are here and make the right adjustments to the French market, but this endeavor ultimately It’s worth it, especially when there are windows of opportunity. These French companies really need innovation and Israel has a good reputation.”

According to the latest estimates, France’s GDP is expected to shrink between 10% and 12% in 2020. France has been able to flatten the Covid-19 curve and has managed to end lockdown so far, but only after registering more than 160,000 coronavirus-related cases and 29,778 deaths. Cafes, bars and restaurants have reopened, and schools have revived. France is desperate for an economic start-up, one third of which was essentially shut down during lockdown. Almost one-third of France’s total workforce, at least 8 million, received funding from the government through its employers. This is a program implemented by the country to get the economy back on track as quickly as possible.

“We don’t know what to expect for the rest of the year as many big events have been canceled. Events like shows and festivals are a huge industry in France, just like tourism. Tourism is 4% of France’s GDP-5. %, but it is the sixth largest economy in the world and still huge, with approximately 90 million tourists visiting France each year, making it the most populous country in the world. Those who rely on these industries are talking about hotels, restaurants, transportation, or entertainment.”

Schrotter said certain types of Israeli companies are needed to succeed in France. “Israel startups without a reference would have a hard time connecting with big French companies. This is something we deal with quite a bit. What do Israeli startups have to do to reach these companies? I have to advise them and sometimes I need to tell them that it may not be possible because they can’t invest what they need. One of our strategies is Israel Is to use local contractors and system integrators to support our startups.”

In addition to Israel’s traditional expertise, Paris’s economic mission has identified the construction industry as an area of ​​growth. “There are certain opportunities for Israeli companies to get the most out of their time now. Israeli startups are very flexible, very proactive and responsive so that they can leverage what we do. Give them a window of opportunity to help,” he said. “When doing business in France, you still have to be very careful and clever, but for a startup with a reference, this could be your opportunity. We’re an Israeli company coming to France As an Israeli start-up, there are also big gaps that bridge the business culture and thinking between big and small start-ups, but what has been happening in France over the last few years? Accelerated by the Covid-19 Crisis, ideal for Israeli companies, which is one of the largest economies in the world, as soon as they start trading with large companies, they have a very healthy relationship. They will be profitable, these are the companies that all companies want to work with, there is a huge opportunity here, and there is growing interest in Israeli innovation in the French construction industry as well. It was hit hard by, but quickly returned to orbit and France has some of the world’s largest construction companies building towers on the bay and stadiums around the world.”

Schrotter, meanwhile, pointed out that everyone in France is very cautious and in many respects focused on survival. On the other hand, there is a lot of increasing pressure only for pandemics to use digital tools, especially in everything related to remote work, telemedicine, and e-commerce, which also results in increased demand. Security solution.

“Everything is changing, and Covid-19 has accelerated the process,” he said. “It helps break French conservatism. They need this innovation, so they are more listening and moving faster about new technologies. This acceleration is ultimately good for Israeli companies That’s it.”

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