FSI (Fonds stratégique d’investissement) France’s strategic sovereign wealth fund announced this week that the digital economy currently represents 25% of France’s growth over the last three years. According to FSI this will result in a an eventual revolution in sthe make-up of France’s economy as they estimate that the digital economy’s percentage of overall GDP will grow to 20%, a big jump from 8% today. This information conflicts a bit from our article last month which highlighted a lower estimated contribution of France’s digital economy to its current and future GDP. Perhaps this is difference is due to how each study sets the parameters around what falls into the definition of the digital economy or simply the fact that the FSI is overly optimistic. However, one thing that is clear from both is that the digital economy is an increasingly important driver of economic growth and that helping to create an environment for it to flourish should be a non-negotiable, top priority for the French government.
As for FSI’s role, they have made various investments in tech over the past few years, including Dailymotion, Tinubu Square (cloud-based risk management) and, more recently, Viadeo which we covered here. They have identified four priority areas of the digital economy that underpin their tech investments: social media and digital content, software (particularly cloud based solutions), network security management, and electronics. Not surprisingly, there has be quite a bit of debate around the effectiveness of a fund such as FSI and whether it is able to make the right type of investment decisions. However at the very least, in FSI France has a fairly high-profile advocate to help get the message out about the tech sector’s increasing importance to France’s economy.