PM pushes big companies to help small companies

1st December 2005, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, Dec 1 (AFP) - French Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin said on Thursday that the government would offer tax incentives to draw big companies to invest in tax-free zones in urban areas.

PARIS, Dec 1 (AFP) - French Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin said on Thursday that the government would offer tax incentives to draw big companies to invest in tax-free zones in urban areas.

Villepin, speaking a month after urban unrest broke out in poor urban areas in many regions of France, said one aim would be to encourage big companies to give a helping hand to small and medium-sized businesses in the tax-free zones.

In return, he expected the big groups to make proposals on what they could contribute.

The violence that erupted has been attributed largely to high unemployment and poverty among young people of immigrant origins in some city outskirts, and to discrimination against people with north African names at job interviews.

Speaking at a monthly press conference, the prime minister also said the government was looking at extending the scope of the tax-free zones and of prolonging and strengthening those which were due to lose their special status in 2007.

Villepin noted that at the beginning of November he had announced the creation of 15 new tax-free areas.

He said: "I want to set up a true partnership between business in favour of small and medium-sized companies operating in urban tax-free zones."

To this end "big companies will be able to deduct from their corporate taxes half of the amount they invest in the capital of small and medium-sized companies".

In return, the big companies "will have to commit themselves to accompanying the growth of the company which they are helping".

He expected big groups involved in helping young people in difficult areas to make "concrete proposals" in the next few days, and said that he would meet them on December 13.

"We need an effort from everyone," Villepin said.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

0 Comments To This Article