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French Pres. Macron Wants France To Be A ‘Start-Up Nation’ — Sound Familiar?

French President Emmanuel Macron announced on Thursday that he would pursue business and technological policies to help France become a “start-up nation” — a phrase frequently used to describe Israel and its entrepreneurial high-tech culture.

“I want France to be a nation that works with and for start-ups, and a nation that thinks and moves like a start-up,” he said at a Paris tech conference, echoing language he used during his presidential campaign. To that end, he announced the creation of a “French Tech Visa,” a special residency permit for entrepreneurs and their families.

Macron’s new policy matches with his announcement after President Trump pulled out of the Paris climate accords earlier this month that France would welcome American scientists and innovators working on climate issues.

Macron is likely familiar with Israel’s reputation for high-tech wizardry — as French Jewish leaders Arié Bensemhoun and David Siegel noted in the Forward last month, Macron visited Israel in 2015 while serving as France’s economy minister. During the trip, they wrote, he “also brought dozens of top French industrial executives, and shared with the delegation many words of high praise for Israel as the ‘Start-Up Nation.’”

Contact Aiden Pink at pink@forward.com or on Twitter @aidenpink.

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