MF Vice President meets President François Hollande at Elysée Palace

Delegates at the meeting gather for a photo outside the Elysée Palace in Paris.

Massey Ferguson’s Richard Markwell was part of a top-level meeting to discuss foreign investment in France with French President François Hollande at the Elysée Palace in Paris.

The Vice President and Managing Director for Massey Ferguson in Europe/Africa/Middle East joined senior executives, representing 16 organisations from a dozen countries, and French government Ministers for the round-table discussion. The talks focused on France’s role as an export hub, prime manufacturing and logistics location, and how foreign investment could be further encouraged.

Picture caption: At the high-profile meeting to discuss foreign investment in France, Richard Markwell took the opportunity to remind President Hollande of Massey Ferguson’s position as the country’s largest manufacturer and exporter of farm machinery with a gift of a limited edition MF model tractor, painted in the colours of the French flag.

Richard Markwell’s responsibilities include the Massey Ferguson tractor manufacturing facility in Beauvais, France which is owned and operated by parent company AGCO, headquartered in Duluth in the United States. AGCO’s French operations accounted for EUR:1.4 bn of the company’s EUR:8.3 bn turnover in 2015. The AGCO Beauvais site is France’s largest producer and exporter of farm machinery and, in recognition of its major contribution to the French economy, it was recently presented with France’s prestigious Foreign Exporter award.

Among the government ministers taking part in the Paris discussions were Emmanuel Macron, Minister for the Economy, Industry and Digital Affairs and Jean-Marc Ayrault, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development.

“It was a unique opportunity to engage with French Government representatives at the highest level and participate in a very frank and open exchange on what works well in France and what could be improved to encourage more investment from outside.” commented Richard Markwell. “Massey Ferguson and its heritage companies have been in France for a very long time - the Beauvais factory itself was opened over 50 years ago. As a result, we have accumulated considerable experience in the country which is, after all, the second largest farm machinery market in the developed world. To be invited to join such a discussion in the company of a group of international business leaders from very diverse industries – from cars to logistics to electrical components – made it a most enriching experience.”

With the current tough challenges facing agricultural enterprises in Europe, Richard Markwell also took the opportunity at the meeting to raise some key issues affecting farmers. He highlighted the need for Governments to help farmers in growing their businesses and underlined the necessity to attract more young people into agriculture.