Macron vows to support maritime post-Covid

French president Emmanuel Macron addressed the nation yesterday in a prime time TV slot in which he promised to support shipping as well as dramatically change his nation’s dependence on global supply chains.

Macron spoke about his government’s plans to reenergise the economy post-Covid-19.

The 42-year-old said he would look to accelerate the nation’s maritime strategy, claiming the European nation is now the second largest maritime power in the world.

Macron has championed a host of green shipping initiatives since taking office. His most important maritime measure however during the ongoing pandemic was the decision to bail out flagship carrier CMA CGM with more than $1bn in state aid.

The coronavirus pandemic had exposed the “flaws and fragility” of France’s, and Europe’s, over-reliance on global supply chains, from the car industry to smart phones and pharmaceuticals, Macron said in the 20-minute address.

“The only answer is to build a new, stronger economic model, to work and produce more, so as not to rely on others,” Macron said, following the likes of Shinzo Abe, Japan’s prime minister, in urging for a reshoring of industry back towards home soil.

Award-winning author and economist Paul French discussed the difficulties involved in reshoring industries when interviewed for the ongoing Maritime CEO Leader Series last month.

To get better supply chains running elsewhere, French said there would be pushback because of all the extra infrastructure such as roads, ports and airports that would need to be built in Western countries.

“This puts the green lobby in a bind as what are you going to do: oppose jobs? Oppose apprenticeships? Oppose economic rejuvenation?” French mused.

The video is carried below.


Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.
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