Amazon records the highest growth in cloud sales thanks to demand for AI

Amazon, Morgan Stanley and Pfizer, among the companies that plan to invest in France Inc., Pfizer Inc. and Morgan Stanley are among companies set to increase their presence in Franceand on Monday an avalanche of new foreign investments will be announced.

President Emmanuel Macron will host 180 CEOs and executives at the Palace of Versailles for the “Choose France” summit. The flagship event, now in its seventh year, is part of a push by Macron's government to reindustrialize the country, simplify its regulations to attract foreign companies and turn it into a financial center for the post-Brexit European Union.

General investments will exceed 13 billion euros (US$14 billion) in projects presented last year, the Elysée said on Sunday.

Amazon will spend 1.2 billion euros on projects that include strengthening the e-commerce company's logistics and increasing computing capabilities, especially dedicated to AI, in its AWS cloud division, the Elysée said.. The effort should generate about 3,000 additional jobs. In the pharmaceutical sector, Pfizer will reinvest 500 million euros in the country, while AstraZeneca will spend around 365 million euros in the Dunkirk region, the Elysée added.

Morgan Stanley is expanding its European campus in the French capital, with a global research center, Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said on Saturday. The American bank has already increased its staff in Paris from 150 to around 400 as of 2021. It will add 100 employees across its Paris divisions, including its R&D center, which now has 90 employees and could grow to 120, according to a Morgan Stanley spokesperson.

Abu Dhabi's First Bank and Nigeria's Zenith Bank will also open offices in Paris, the minister added. Such operations will help French companies invest in the Gulf and English-speaking Africa, and will show that Paris is becoming a key location for global players, according to Le Maire.

Other investments planned by Le Maire include two factories to help make France a leader in “decarbonised industry”. Switzerland-based KL1 will invest 300 million euros ($324 million) in a nickel refining plant with 200 employees in Blanquefort, near Bordeaux. The metal is a key component of electric vehicle batteries.

German startup Lilium will build a €400 million factory assembling electric vertical take-off aircraft in southwestern France, creating up to 850 jobs, Le Maire said.

The European consortium FertigHy plans to invest 1.3 billion euros until 2030 in a plant in northern France to produce low-carbon nitrogen fertilizers, said Industry Minister Roland Lescure in an interview with La Tribune on Sunday. Belgian chemical group Solvay is expected to launch a rare earth production unit at its La Rochelle site at a cost of €100 million, he added.

More projects are expected to be announced on Monday. Around 3,000 million euros will be announced in projects related to technology and artificial intelligenceLes Echos reported on May 9, and Kddi and Equinix will build new data centers.

France is often criticized for its strict labor laws, regulations and political pressure on companies, and is working on a new plan to strengthen the attractiveness of Paris as a European financial center. Those moves have spurred other companies in Asia, the Middle East, Canada and Australia to consider moving their businesses to Paris.

In recent years, Paris has grown as a financial center, attracting banks and hedge funds that sought a foothold in the EU after Brexit. The UK's 2016 vote to leave the EU forced Wall Street's biggest banks to adjust their operations to ensure they were trading European assets (from government bonds to interest rate products and stocks) within the 27 countries that remain in the bloc.

Le Maire will host a lunch on Monday with top bankers, guests include CEO of JPMorgan Chase, Jamie Dimon, KKR co-founder Henry Kravis, Goldman Sachs CEO David Solomon, and Bank of America head Brian Moynihan.