France's Macron calls for European tech company push by 2030

France's President Emmanuel Macron holds a news conference during the NATO summit in Brussels, Belgium June 14, 2021. REUTERS/Christian Hartmann

PARIS, June 15 (Reuters) - French President Emmanuel Macron on Tuesday outlined an ambitious push for Europe to create 10 technology giants worth 100 billion euros ($121.26 billion) each in valuation by 2030, in a bid to rival U.S. companies that dominate the sector.

The goals are part of a Europe-wide initiative France is trying to lead to improve funding for start-ups, especially in their later stages of growth, to propel them into a bigger league where they can attract more investors and top staff.

Macron has pushed to make France into a "start-up nation" since coming to power in 2017, rendering the country more attractive to foreign investors through labour reforms for example.

French efforts to create "unicorns", or companies worth at least $1 billion, are still overshadowed by U.S. equivalents, however. Macron said last year he expected France to have 25 "unicorns" by 2025.

The latest plan to help European start-ups includes ramping up funding schemes, through EU-wide finances and by encouraging more venture capital funds to invest, according to a manifesto signed by some 200 businesses, which includes start-up association and other companies.

They also recommended modernising regulations in Europe as well as creating competitive stock option schemes as part of initiatives to scale up European technology firms. ($1 = 0.8247 euros)

Reporting by Sarah White and Matthieu Protard Editing by Alistair Bell

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