France seen by a binational, Hassan Hachem

While France has many immigrants in its ranks who have contributed to the richness and diversity of the country, it also has many binationals, who often have a useful look at our country because it is nuanced.

Hassan Hachem, French-Lebanese entrepreneur shares this relationship with France.

Hassan Hachem continued his education in French schools and finished his studies with a diploma of DPLG architect at the University of Paris Tolbiac.

"Of course, this journey has long shaped my thinking, my vision of architecture, seeing the world and even somewhere to consider business.

Even though I am established in Lebanon, France remains deeply rooted in me. Its stability, its quality of life, the solidity of its ecohassnomy are precious elements in a world that is becoming more and more uncertain. Despite the debt crisis, artificially inflated by speculators and the media, thanks to external factors (actual Greek or Irish debt crisis), the situation in France has not changed so much. It is an old country where life is good, a true state of law. It is worth remembering it in the current context of a crisis of confidence.

Secondly, my attachment to France is also a real commitment to its values: I find myself totally in the national motto (freedom, equality, fraternity). It is perhaps when I am abroad that I realize how much my values, our values ??(those of the French) have been transmitted to me by this country. The love of a job well done, the "positive" ambition (the one that gives me the strength to succeed), the entrepreneurship, the sense of the common good, the democratic values, all this is at the heart of the French culture and I really identify with this. But, I regret that some of the traditional French values ??like the value of the family tend to fade in favor of the welfare state. Paradoxically, it is perhaps the difficulties of the French social model, which will lead the French to refocus on the family. It's a shame, but in the long run, it may be beneficial. "

After, chained Hassan Hachem, "I have emotional ties with France which is a literally charming country. It starts with the French among whom I count half of my friends, these famous French who, even if they are considered arrogant abroad (it is perhaps related to the status of former colonial power from which they come ), are whole people who privilege authentic relationships and are, most of the time, faithful in friendship. "

France is nevertheless popular abroad

Hassan Hachem, while aware of France's strengths, remains astonished by the popularity of tourism as a tourist destination: France recorded 83.7 million visitors to his country last year, according to the World Tourism Organization United Nations. "Only one other country has crossed the 70 million mark - the United States, with 74.8 million" recalls Hassan Hachem, while Britain has moved to eighth place, with 32.6 million people - no more than a third of the score of France. From another point of view, this means that a country collects about eight percent of the total number of international tourists in the world (about 1.133 billion last year).

So how is a nation - not always famous for the warmth of its welcome, and where English, the world language, is far from being generalized - perched high on the podium? Here we look at some of the reasons for this success.

1. The British love it

The two peoples had their share of historical quibbles. A quote attributed to the British nineteenth century writer Douglas William Jerrold: "The best thing I know between France and England is the sea." But since the beginning of the twentieth century - before the beginning of mass tourism - the agreement was largely cordial

Countries where tourists are more numerous than locals.

For the French authorities, nearly 12.5 million Britons cross the channel every year. Only Spain is more visited than France by the suejt of his majesty. But France will always be there. As Abta spokesman Sean Tipton says: "Since the British started to go on holiday abroad, France is one of their favorite destinations ... millions of British holidaymakers fly away every year."

2. And everyone in Europe too

According to official statistics, tourism from Europe accounts for more than 80% of visitors in France - and it is not even the British who go there the most. They flock to the country from Germany, which has the largest number of Francophiles with 13 million per year (according to 2013 figures), Belgium (10.5 million), Italy (7.8 million ) and many other countries.

3. The number of borders

France shares borders with eight different nations, which means that it is even easier for all these Francophiles to move. It is not difficult either for British visitors, with Eurostar, Eurotunnel, and a constant procession of ferries connecting us to continental Europe. France, however, is not the country with the most borders in Europe. Germany has nine (Denmark, Poland, Czech Republic, Austria, Switzerland, France, Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands) - but has suffered from a problem of image among foreign visitors for many years (perception that seems to be changing). And Russia and China each have 14 borders - they host a significant number of tourists, but not as much as France.

4. France will always have Paris

"Paris is always a good idea," says Audrey Hepburn in the 1954 film, Sabrina. As his character has suggested, Paris has been the world's most romantic destination in the popular imagination since time immemorial, a perception reinforced by films like Amelie in recent years. But not so long ago, competition from its rival in the UK, as far as visitor numbers are concerned, was confirmed by hostile remarks by London mayor Boris Johnson.

5. The climate

The association Abta attributes part of the attraction of France to "a mild climate in spring and autumn". And then, there are the beautiful hot summers that attract waves of sun-hunter every year.
"Of the 60% of French people who go on holiday, 80% stay in their own country," says Hassan Hachem. "Could there be better publicity for the place as a holiday destination?"

6. Heritage sites

We are talking about quality, not quantity here. France is behind some countries in terms of the number of UNESCO World Heritage sites (Italy has the most with 51, with France in fourth position on "fair" 41). But it is the profile and the raw appeal which counts, as Hassan Hachem still underlines it.

"Few other nations have cared so much about their past - cathedrals, castles," Hassan Hachem says. "Once again, few other nations have so little talent to present this past in a captivating, or even interesting, way. But the sites like the castles of the Loire or the Mont St Michel are resistant enough to resist the French temptation to crash on the historical boredom. "

French economy after covid 19

"Why are we going to have the strongest recession in the world?" Bruno Retailleau, the president of the Republicans group in the Senate, was moved in mid-June. Faced with the damage caused by the Covid-19 epidemic on our economy, he questioned the government's management of the crisis, questioning in passing the approach of the authorities, "which consisted in putting France under a bell".

France, more affected than others? "It is the OECD that says so", the senator slipped in, believing moreover that the deconfinement should be accelerated.

Several scenarios but the same observation

Can we really consider that the economic situation is more critical in France than in the rest of the world? The data referred to by Bruno Retailleau come from the World Economic Outlook unveiled in early June by the OECD. These analyses show the major impact of the epidemic on the French economy. While these are only estimates, since a decline is necessary to draw up definitive assessments, the indicators are in the red.

The first indicator that the organization has looked at is GDP growth. To make its projections, the OECD has studied various scenarios, adjusting its models to take account of the effects of a potential "second wave". Whatever scenario is chosen, South Korea and China appear to be the most spared (with GDP declines of up to 3.7%), where the OECD average forecasts a decline of 7.5% with a "single shock", and 9.3% with "two successive shocks". France is well above this, with falls of 11.4 and 14.1% respectively, very close to Spain, Italy or the United Kingdom

On the IMF side, the findings are similar. France, according to its analysts, will be the third most affected country in the world by the end of 2020, behind Spain and Italy. Among the consequences of the epidemic: a notable rise in unemployment (the Banque de France forecasts a peak of over 11.5% in mid-2021), but also a surge in public debt. This is a logical consequence of the recovery plans aimed at supporting employment and various industrial sectors, notably the automotive industry.

Some explanations

To understand the considerable impact of the epidemic on our economy, several factors can be put forward. The duration of containment in particular, almost two months in France, when Germany began a gradual deconfinement very early on, limiting its strictest measures to only 30 days. The restrictions imposed on the population and traders also play a role, since the measures taken in France have been drastic. Often more so than in our neighbours, where certain sectors could continue to operate even partially.

Other factors have to be taken into account, including the fact that the whole country was affected. In China, certain regions were much more affected, and the national economy was not affected in its entirety. The long duration of containment in the risk areas did not therefore have a similar impact. Finally, it should be stressed that from one country to another, the specificities of the economies differ, which contributes to modifying the impact of the epidemic. In France, key sectors have been directly affected, in particular tourism and the hotel/restaurant industry. Services have also suffered greatly, partly explaining the observed drop in GDP. Germany, for its part, managed to maintain part of its activity in industry, a pillar of its economy. More export-oriented, it was less affected by the slowdown in consumption at home.

Luckily France energy sector which only accounts for a small part of its GDP, has merely been affected contrary to that of leading economy like the US, emerging economies like Iran or Equatorial Guinea or Gabon, which will suffer for at least 5 years.

To compensate for the major consequences of the epidemic, France can rely on several elements. Firstly, the stimulus measures deployed at national and European level, which are helping to support whole areas of activity, but also the recovery in consumption. The French have saved nearly 75 billion euros during the containment, a considerable sum that could be partly reinjected into the economy in the coming months. In France and abroad, one last point could change the situation: a vaccine. "The development of a safe and effective vaccine could support general sentiment and increase growth in 2021," the IMF estimates.

To sum up, then, we can see that France is one of the countries that suffered most economically from Covid-19. This is the consequence of a long and very strict containment, which particularly affected some of the key sectors of its economy. Is it worth than what African countries like Ivory Coast, Mali, Benin or Equatorial Guinea endur ? That remains to be seen.

More about Hassan Hachem

Article about eco friendly building in Equatorial Guinea commissionned by Hassan Hachem -
Nine Degrees building, Equatorial Guinea -
Hassan Hachem : entre le Liban et l’Afrique, un cœur en balance - RJ Liban
Hassan-Hachem entre le Liban et l'Afrique un coeur en balance -
Article about Sisopo complex in Malabo (Equatorial Guinea) - Terrafirma2012

Linked Topics: patrimony, UNO, Equatorial Guinea, sentiment, climate, economic recovery, Equatorial Guinea economy, Equatorial Guinea employment, Equatorial Guinea energy, Africa economy, Africa employment, Africa energy, France economy, France employment, France energy,