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The World Economic Forum 2017 Annual Meeting opened its doors to more than 3,000 participants on Tuesday in Davos. Business leaders, heads of state and government, NGOs and academic representatives, journalists and celebrities gathered to brainstorm on global issues, including ongoing international conflicts, poverty, environmental problems, and their potential solutions.

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    The Consumer Electronics Show, the largest of its kind in the world, drew to a close last week, drawing more than 3,800 exhibitors and 177,000 professionals through its doors this year. A total of 233 French companies exhibited their products, including 222 startups, making France the largest European delegation, well ahead of Germany and the United Kingdom, and the second largest source country of startups after the United States.

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    Every year since 2011, the Top 100 Global Innovators report has identified companies and institutions around the globe that are at the heart of innovation, based on the number of patents filed and granted, as well as their international influence and extent of protection. This year the rankings were published for the first time by Clarivate Analytics, formerly the Intellectual Property & Science business of Thomson Reuters.

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    One of the effects of a new set of employment reforms that took effect on January 1, 2017 is that employees in France now have the right to disconnect from work emails when out of the office, in a nationwide move that is the first of its kind in the world.

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    In late December, the French Environment Minister, Ségolène Royal, formally opened the world’s first solar road in the village of Tourouvre (Normandie region). It is hoped that the technology, which uses specially developed solar panels laid flat over the road surface to generate energy, will soon be developed elsewhere in France and abroad.

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    A new Business France publication – “What if…? French startups re-imagining the world” – has been released to coincide with the opening of the 2017 Las Vegas Consumer Electronics Show. The book showcases 10 ingeniously creative firms, whose founders recount their origins and ongoing success stories.

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    France is ranked 13th out of the 136 economies compared in the latest Global Enabling Trade Report, jointly published since 2007 by the World Economic Forum and the Global Alliance for Trade Facilitation to gauge the quality of institutions, policies, infrastructure and services facilitating the free flow of goods across borders.

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    The recent publication of the 16th Deloitte Technology Fast 500 EMEA once again sees France outstrip its European counterparts for fast-growing technology companies. France continues to lead the way in the standings, with a grand total of 94 companies – including Horizontal Software and Chauffeur Privé in the top 10 – followed by the United Kingdom (70 companies), the Netherlands (54), Norway (50) and Sweden (50).