Entrepreneurship and investing in France

France has much to offer businesses and foreign investors.

France’s economic attractiveness is booming and is attracting a growing number of foreign investors. According to the AT Kearney annual rankings, France placed in the “Top 5” most attractive countries for major international investors in 2018. Let’s take a look at the French economy – beyond the clichés.

  1. France is a global economic power

With GDP of $2,762 billion at current prices in 2019, France is the world’s seventh-largest economy after the United States, China, Japan, Germany, India and United Kingdom 

  1. France is open to foreign investors and located at the heart of Europe

21 foreign companies choose France for new investments every week. There are over 28,000 companies with foreign capital in France, employing 11% of the workforce. They make up 21% of work in industry, 30% of French exports and 21% of domestic R&D expenditure. France is ranked 10th for Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) stock.

  1. Paris: the European Union’s leading financial centre

Paris is behind Beijing and Tokyo but above London and New York in the ranking of cities that are home to the most Top 500 businesses’ headquarters (27 headquarters). With asset management business of €4 trillion (i.e. over 1.5 times France’s GDP

  1. A nation of entrepreneurs

France saw a record number of 691,000 start-ups in 2018

  1. Highly qualified and productive human resources

France is investing heavily in its education system (5% of GDP). It has a highly qualified, adaptable workforce which can master new technologies, which are essential to increase productivity. Some 44.7% of the population aged 25-34 and 33.5% of the population aged 25-64 have a higher education qualification.

  1. An innovative country

With domestic research and development spending equal to 2.2% of GDP, France ranks 6th in the world according to the World Competitiveness Yearbook 2018 (behind the United States, China, Japan, Germany and Korea).

Source: Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs (https://www.diplomatie.gouv.fr/)