Macron wins and France is open for (international) business

by Sophie Pairault, from Paris

Emmanuel Macron is the new French president.

At age 39, he is now the youngest G20 leader; he is pro-Europe and pro-Euro, has taken pro-business positions, has shown himself to be supportive of innovation and of the startup community (especially digital startups).

Why is Emmanuel Macron so different from his predecessors besides being the youngest?

He speaks English.

Unlike traditional political leaders who train for a career in politics rather than business, Macron worked in the private sector as an investment banker before joining the government as economy minister.

Macron says he wants to be pragmatic when it comes to business,  and to build a more entrepreneurial nation (he actually said a "start-up nation") and attract international companies to France.

He is likely to see Brexit as an opportunity for France and Europe.

He wants to simplify French bureaucracy, especially for SMEs, and help French companies to compete in a global market.

What Macron has achieved in the last 12 months is extraordinary and “La French Tech” have branded him “the one-man startup unicorn.”

Emmanuel Macron was virtually unknown two years ago; he saw an opportunity in the French political landscape and grabbed it. He also got lucky, as all the stars aligned along the way, but as Napoleon Bonaparte famously said “I would rather have a general who was lucky than one who was good.”

Luck won’t be enough though as the most difficult tasks lie ahead to reform a very divided country.

We will know by mid-June (after the French legislative election) how much of his ambitious agenda he will be able to actually achieve.