France 'the Best Place' to Invest: Minister
Assistant Editor, CNBC.com
France may have a new President who once declared the world of finance his "true enemy", but it remains an attractive place to invest, finance minister Pierre Moscovici told CNBC on Tuesday.
Many investors feared French President Francois Hollande, a socialist who has vowed to raise taxes and supports stricter regulatation of financial markets.
But France is “the best place” to invest, Moscovici said on the sidelines in a conference in Paris. “Investors don't have to be worried. We’re a solid government,” he said.
Moscovici faces a tough balancing act later on Tuesday when he addressed delegates at the conference and announced various measures to regulate the market.
On the one hand, he continued the new government's campaign against the “financial world”. “Some market practices are dangerous,” Moscovici said, “We should not regulate toxic activities; if they are toxic, they should be terminated.” But on the other hand, the new French government will need this “financial world” to fund growth.
Moscovici said it was "crucial that the French economy finds its way towards growth again… and in order to find growth, we need its funding to be more solid, more dynamic and more effective," he said.
“(The message) was, I think, very clear,” Gerard Mestrallet, Chairman CEO of GDF Suez, told CNBC.
“(Regulation) has to be balanced of course,” Mestrallet said, “We need regulation, but with freedom to act as private companies and therefore it is a question of balance between too much regulation and no regulation.”