Salesforce announces $2.2 billion French investment as Macron meets Trump

FILE PHOTO: The Salesforce logo is pictured on a building in San Francisco, California, U.S. October 12, 2016. REUTERS/Lily Jamali/File Photo

PARIS (Reuters) - U.S. software company Salesforce CRM.N will invest more than $2.2 billion in its French business over the next five years, it said on Tuesday, in another sign of America Inc's new love affair with France since President Emmanuel Macron's election.

The investment comes as Macron began a state visit to Washington, becoming the first foreign leader to be given the honor by U.S. President Donald Trump.

“In the context of his state visit to the United States, Salesforce announced to President Macron an investment of more than $2.2 billion in the company’s French business over the next five years,” Salesforce said in a statement.

A survey by the American Chamber of Commerce last November showed that the election of Macron, who has pledged reforms to boost the French economy and help businesses, had caused American investors to take a more positive view on France, with many planning to expand.

Salesforce said it was experiencing rapid growth in France and planned to significantly increase its headcount, real estate footprint and data center capacity.

The announcement follows similar decisions to invest in France by U.S. multinationals such as Google GOOGL.O, Facebook FB.O and General Mills GIS.N.

Macron, a former investment banker, and his government are pushing through social and economic reforms to re-shape the French economy and restore France’s image among investors.

He has already made hiring and firing easier by easing labor regulations, slashed a wealth tax, introduced a flat 30 percent tax rate on capital income and scrapped the highest bracket of payroll tax for banks.

Reporting by Michel Rose; Editing by Sudip Kar-Gupta