AFEM reports on French anti-globalization sentiment

france.gif As an avid observer of France I have mostly been concerned with the discourse surrounding the almost institutional anti-globilazation and anti-Anglo Saxon sentiment within France her society and her politics. This post is not different.

In this post over at "A Few Euros More" Edward Hugh point us to this article from FT which reports on a survey just published by the French employers' association MEDEF and the international consultancy KPMG about French busnisess' attitude towards the benefits of offshoring and outsourcing; (I haven't been able to find the survey so if somebody does, please leave the link in a comment).

The conclusion is apparently a two-edged sword where large French companies actually acknowledges that investing abroad can save home markets whereas smaller French businesses (SMEs) do not see offshoring as a viable strategy for saving jobs. At least that is how I read the FT article. 

From FT; 

"There is a growing gulf between the strategies of such companies (i.e. SMEs with low turn-overs) and larger or more innovative rivals, the report said."

However, as Edward also points out the FT article is a bit ambigous as it also reports that 74% of the companies surveyed said that broader foreign investment actually helped safeguard jobs in France.


"Is this an example of 'double entendre'? Is it a real reflection of attitudes to globalisation, or a 'packaging' exercise where it is easier to advocate something as 'new investment' rather than 'moving jobs'."

My interpretation of this is that you have distinguish between small and medium sized businesses (with low-turnovers as also mentioned in the FT article) and large innovative companies. But it sure would have been nice to have that survey.

Apart from the tongue twisting, can we learn anything from the points above?

I think we can, or at least I can.  

Consequently, I must say that the apparent conclusion of the survey surprises me. My analysis of the "anti-globalization sentiment" in France has customarily drawn a sharp line between civil society and politics and businessess where I have gathered the anti-globalization sentiment to come from the former rather than the latter. However, it is also important to note that when speaking of offshoring and outsourcing as business strategy it is clear that small companies do not have that option. Still, it surprises that 56% (up from 29% last year) of SMEs do not see any benfits in moving jobs abroad.