17481692_lFRANCE: Air conditioning suppliers Carrier and Trane are amongst 50 major international companies appealing on the newspaper website Les Echos calling for changes to make the country more attractive to foreign investors.

The signatories, including Herve Martino, president of Lennox HVAC & Refrigeration EMEA and Didier Da Costa, president of Carrier Europe, Building Systems and Services Division amongst the list of leaders of French subsidiaries of major international groups, say it is becoming increasingly difficult to persuade their parent companies to invest in the country.

The group says that although France has the resources, talent and innovation, it is “penalised by the complexity and instability of the legislative and regulatory environment, a lack of flexibility of labour law by complex, lengthy and uncertain procedures restructuring by higher costs elsewhere and, more broadly, a cultural mistrust of the market economy.”

They call upon the French government to “alleviate the criminal aspects of labour law, abolishing the offence of obstructing and subjecting labour relations in civil liability law.” It also calls for measures to stabilise and secure the tax environment and eliminate the possibility of retroactive tax and to initiate means to attract and retain international talent.

The call is signed by major French subsidiaries of international companies including Siemens, ABB, BASF, BT, Bosch, Cisco, DHL, Dow, Esso, Heineken, Hertz, Microsoft, Procter & Gamble, Shell, Sony, Unilever, UPS and Volkswagen.