The amazing attractiveness of France’s economy

"The 2021 Annual Report: Foreign investment in France" released on March 15 confirms that 2021 was a record year for France’s attractiveness.

The report stated that, in 2021, 1,607 investment projects were identified, up 32% on 2020, creating or maintaining 45,008 jobs, an increase of 30% compared with 2020.

The amazing attractiveness of France’s economy
The amazing attractiveness of France’s economy. (Source: OMFIF)

Therefore, France’s attractiveness reached an all-time high in 2021, with an average of 31 investment decisions recorded per week last year.

Furthermore, around 60 different countries chose to invest in France in 2021, with the year being marked by a significant strengthening of France’s attractiveness in the eyes of European investors, who accounted for two-thirds of projects.

Germany became the leading investor country in France, with nearly 300 projects recorded, ahead of the United States (247). The United States remained in first place for jobs generated (10,118, compared with 8,063 for Germany). The United Kingdom completed the podium of investor countries in France, with 151 projects identified (4,202 jobs).

The majority of investments in France were in new sites, with 51% relating to business creations, a sign of investor confidence in France’s business environment and economic prospects. Expansions, which reflect the renewed confidence seen from foreign businesses that have already invested in France, accounted for 44% of projects and nearly half of the jobs, with these expansions mainly relating to production/manufacturing facilities.

France’s reindustrialization is a reality. A record 460 production/manufacturing projects of foreign origin were identified in France in 2021, an increase of 49%, with these investments creating or maintaining more than 15,000 jobs in France.

Production/manufacturing projects accounted for 29% of foreign investments in France and 34% of related jobs, with 83% of these decisions relating to site expansions. These results demonstrate that the process of reindustrialization of the French economy, which has been underway for several years, accelerated in 2021 and that, far from having just begun to develop, foreign investors’ confidence in France was strengthened following the Covid-19 health crisis.

Team France Invest has accelerated foreign investments. In 2021, the partnership between Business France and the Regional Economic Development Agencies resulted in the distribution of more than 1,900 projects to French regions, the awarding of more than 1,200 regional offers of establishment to foreign investors, and the joint organization of more than 110 operations to promote France’s regions abroad.

Bruno Le Maire, Minister for the Economy, Finance and the Recovery, said: “These excellent results reflect the fact that France is undergoing a reindustrialization, as well as the success of the attractiveness strategy deployed by the Government since 2017, through ambitious reforms. These include changes to the labor market, tax reform, to direct savings towards manufacturing investment and improve our businesses’ competitiveness, and administrative simplification measures to speed up the setup of businesses in France, particularly in industry.

“These efforts have enabled us to become the most attractive country in Europe in 2019, a position we have maintained ever since. I am delighted with the figures we are publishing today, which are thanks to Team France Invest’s hard work to support businesses wishing to establish themselves in our regions.”, he added.

“France’s attractiveness now clearly goes beyond its recognized structural key strengths, thanks to the country’s unique expertise. On the medical front, France is the leading destination in Europe for the location of healthcare investment and it is the leading industrial sector for foreign investors in France... These very encouraging results are the fruit of collective work carried out by diplomatic networks, Business France and our partners, and by an exemplary national support policy,” said Christophe Lecourtier, CEO of Business France.

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