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Germany, France plan fund for start-ups to boost digital business

Staff Writer | December 14, 2016
France and Germany plan to set up a 1 billion euros fund to support start-ups in a bid to boost Europe's digital economy.
Francois Hollande
Technology   The second Franco-German conference
In the second Franco-German conference on digitalisation, President Francois Hollande and Chancellor Angela Merkel, who were joined by top ministers, pledged to transform their economies together.

"We want to create a large digital economy on a Europe-wide scale," Hollande said. "We must be pioneers, Germany and France, digital pioneers," he added.

There were few concrete steps announced, however. "Growth capital is still something that we are lacking," said German Economy Minister Sigmar Gabriel, noting how much easier it was to raise funds in the United States.

French Finance Minister Michel Sapin said the fund would include credit from European countries and private investment. They also highlighted the importance of improving cyber security cooperation, especially for cloud services that are crucial for small firms.