France to finance more 'industrial innovation'

30th August 2005, Comments 0 comments

REIMS, France, Aug 30 (AFP) - France is to implement a new industrial policy that will see the commitment of one billion euros a year to finance new projects aimed at creating high-tech employment, President Jacques Chirac said here Tuesday.

REIMS, France, Aug 30 (AFP) - France is to implement a new industrial policy that will see the commitment of one billion euros a year to finance new projects aimed at creating high-tech employment, President Jacques Chirac said here Tuesday.

"We are today at a decisive moment," Chirac told a gathering of business leaders, researchers and educators following the installation of the country's new Agency for Industrial Innovation (AII).

"All the conditions are in place for France to go boldly on the offensive. We are going to conquer new domains and put ourselves at the forefront of industrial innovation and research," said Chirac.

Chirac added innovation was essential to the creation of "highly qualified employment" and was "the best response to (industrial) relocation".

"We are going to put in place a new industrial policy," Chirac declared, adding that the AII would have one billion euros a year to finance innovative projects lasting from five to 15 years.

In addition, legislation promoting basic research would be prepared in the next few weeks.

Chirac said the AII would consider "the development of an Internet multimedia search engine" as well as projects in the area of mobile telephony.

The president at the same time warned that oil prices could remain high for a long time to come and called for a renewed commitment to new technology to ease the burden of energy costs.

"The price of oil risks remaining durably high, and the renewal of our energy policy is indispensable," Chirac said.

He said the current situation called for "energy conservation policies, but also the development of new technologies", which he described as a "market with huge potential".

Finance Minister Thierry Breton, who was accompanying Chirac, said France's 2006 budget would be drafted on the assumption of oil prices "above US $50 " a barrel.

Prices on Monday topped US $70 a barrel, in response to a hurricane that struck US oil producing regions in the Gulf of Mexico, but on Tuesday were at US $67.81 in New York electronic trading.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news, Chirac, Agency for Industrial Innovation, AII, oil prices, Thierry Breton

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