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Fighting the trade war

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2009-09-07

In order to improve the competitiveness of french businesses and to protect them from disloyal methods of competitors, french government has mandated special experts.

Marc Frenger works for the French Ministry of th e Econmy. He's in charge of competitive intelligence in the southern city of Marseille. Visiting Comex, a medium sized company specialised in engineering and underwater exploration, he's, flanked by his alter-ego from the Ministry of the Interior, Laurence Gasnier.

Both of them will help Comex in different ways : protection abroad, finding new ways of working to safeguarg the different phases of the company's development... .


And the expertise of these intelligence specialists doesn't end there. They also play a role in Toulon's regional cluster for the South East (specialized in maritime activities), strategic economic centers. The state relies on them to encourage innovation. The Toulon cluster has 255 members, of which 2/3rds are companies, one third-recearchers. Together, they develop new projects.

Where is the market ? How big is it ? How should the company position itself in relation to competitors ? The project manager brings back precious information to the cluster.


Strategic advice, but also, and above all, a recomendation to tread with caution.


According to Marc Frenger, " the cluster is a wonderful tool to promote our companies internationally, but obviously it's also a red flag for foreign interests, that could attract attention to our companies' intangible capital and heritage, possibly from predators".


And this trade war takes no prisoners, especially for small and medium size companies. But in the face of growing competition and disloyal methods, the state will be standing behind French businesses.



A report by Stéphanie Paviet and Thomas Dudzinski.



Date created : 2009-09-07