France: an attractive investment destination

A leading world economy

France is the 5th largest economy in the world with an estimated GDP of USD $ 2.608 trillion for 2012 (IMF, 2013).

- Major market potential: France has a JPEG population of more than 65 million with strong purchasing power. Its strategic location at the heart of the European Union, the world’s largest market, offers direct access to nearly 500 million consumers. France is also the world’s number-one tourist destination, with nearly 80 million visitors in 2012 (UNWTO,2012).

- A Strong, Diversified Economy, Global Companies
France has a strong, diversified industrial base, powered notably by:

  • The largest pharmaceutical, aerospace and nuclear sectors
  • The continent’s second largest chemical industry
  • And its third-largest ICT sector and agri-food sectors

32 French companies among the 500 largest in the world in 2012 (Germany: 32; UK: 26) according to the Fortune Global 500

- France, the best place to live
JPEG According to International Living’s 2010 Quality of Life Index, which compares countries based on cost of living, culture and leisure, economy, environment, freedom, health, infrastructure, safety and risk, climate, France is the best place in the world to live

Open for business with foreign investors

France has the fourth largest FDI stock in the world after the United States, China and the United Kingdom. (Source: UNCTAD, World Investment Report, 2012)
In terms of the ratio of FDI stock to GDP, France (at 39%) is ranked ahead of the United States (23%), Germany (20%) and Japan (4%).
(Source: UNCTAD, 2012)

- Over 20,000 foreign companies already profiting from doing business in France: they employ over 2 million people and account for 22% of all corporate R&D in France, one-third of all French exports and 42.4% of holdings in the market capitalization of CAC 40 companies (amounting to €404.5 billion).
Sources: ORBIS, 2010; IFA, France Attractiveness Scoreboard, 2010; Banque de France, 2010

- Paris is the 2nd most popular location in Europe for foreign financial firms (500 banks and financial institutions).
Source: Paris Europlace, 2012
- NYSE Euronext, the world’s leading stock exchange is number 1 in terms of trading volume in Europe.

- In 2012, an average of 15 companies a week chose to invest in France by creating or saving jobs.

Low business set-up costs

- According to KPMG, total labor costs in France (salary, compulsory deductions and other contributions) are lower than in the United States, Germany, the Netherlands and Japan.
(Source: KPMG, Competitive Alternatives, 2012)

- France is ranked first in Europe for R&D operations and sixth for manufacturing operations by effective corporate tax rates, which take into account different tax bases, capital depreciation rules, exemptions and tax credits.
(Source: KPMG, Competitive Alternatives, 2012)

- The cost of renting office space (in euros per square meter per year) is lower in Marseille (€240/sq. m.) and Lyon (€260/sq. m.) than in Frankfurt (€408/sq. m.) or Amsterdam (€423/sq. m.); costs in Paris’s business district (€875/sq. m.) are lower than in London’s West End (€1,978/sq. m.).
(Source: Cushman & Wakefield, Office space across the world, 2012)

South-African investments in France

Top 10 for South-African companies in France (number of employees)

Since 2003, South-African companies investments are first oriented towards production activities (32%) and decision centers (38%), then towards logistics projects (25%).

Examples of South-African investments in 2012:

  • BARLOWORLD LIMITED: Opening of a Barloworld Limited branch, specialized in logistics solutions design in Paris, creating 10 job positions.
  • IMPERIAL HOLDINGS : Panopa Logistique, subsidiary firm of the South-African Imperial Holdings, invests into the extension of his Lorraine’s site of Hambach. Dedicated to logistics services for vehicle parts, this site will have to recruit more than 10 new employees.
To go further :
- Visit the website of the Invest in France Agency
- Vidéo "The A-Z of investing in France with the IFA"
- Do you know the « 10 reasons to invest in France » ?
- Say Oui to France

publie le 05/09/2014

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