France needs to increase labor flexibility and overhaul its tax system if it is to remain competitive, the chief executive of design software company Dassault Systemes told CNBC.
CEO Bernard Charles stressed that for France to take a more European outlook in the way it does business, it needs to make it easier for companies to hire and fire workers.
"Labor flexibility is important for companies which are trying to create new business," he told CNBC, as Dassault reported a rise in first-quarter revenues and added that it was closer to completing the proposed acquisition of U.S. software company Accelrys.
Bernard also criticized the high level of corporate tax in the France - at around 38 percent compared to the U.K.'s 21 percent. "Tax is a very real issue, very critical in achieving the opportunities to grow," he said.
The company Thursday confirmed its financial objectives for 2014 and said revenue for the first-quarter came in at 502 million euros ($694 million). In the same quarter last year, revenue stood at 485.3 million euros. Earnings-per-share (EPS) - an important metric used by analysts to show how well a company is performing - saw a slip, however. Last year's number stood at 0.58 euros but was confirmed at 0.42 euros on Thursday.
It added that net operating cash flow was 182.3 million euros in the first quarter of 2014, compared to 185.0 euros million in the 2013 period.
Charles told CNBC that demand for products in Asia and North America remains strong and said that growth in new licenses grew 10 percent in the latter over the last quarter.
Speaking about the proposed takeover of Sand Diego-based Accelrys, Charles said that a deal "should be" completed and was an important acquisition in the area biotechnology.
"This friendly takeover come sat the right time. We have been doing, for five years research in this sector," he said. The company added that it has offered $12.50 a share in cash for Accelrys.
Follow us on Twitter: @CNBCWorld