France has not lost its charm

Brain drain, relocations... There are many clichés regarding the supposed lack of attractiveness in France. However, France ranks among the most attractive countries in the world. These 10 figures speak for themselves.

1. Standpoint adopted by the majority of foreign investors

Two foreign investors out of three find France attractive, according to a TNS Sofres-AFII survey. Confidence is growing: they represented only 53% in 2009. 33% of them plan to consolidate their business presence in France. Welcome!

2. France is the European leader for foreign investments in production

France is the leading country for foreign investments in production in Europe, in particular in the agri-food, chemical, car and mechanical machinery and equipment industries. Moreover, it ranks second in Europe and fourth in the world in terms of Foreign Direct Investment (IDE – Investissements directs étrangers) stock.

3. France is increasingly using the Internet

With 37% subscribers to a high-speed broadband network in 2013, France comes second in AFII’s ranking in front of the United States of America (29%) and Japan (28%). France will invest €20 billion over ten years so that the whole country is covered by very-high speed broadband in the scope of the Very High-Speed Broadband Project for France (Plan France Très Haut Débit) launched in 2013.

4. France welcomes high-level students

42% of students registered in high-level research programmes are foreign. This is the highest proportion in the ranking. With 260,000 registered students in higher education, France is furthermore the third-ranking host country for foreign students according to Unesco. Brain drain, really?

5. France provides innovation resources to business

France knows how to motivate its troops: it has taken the lead in the ranking in terms of tax incentives for R&D offered to businesses, notably as a result of the research tax credit (CIR – Crédit d’impôt recherche) and young innovative business status (statut Jeune entreprise innovante). In addition, it is the second country for hosting R&D activities after the United Kingdom.

6. France is reducing labour costs

Labour costs for the whole economy remained stable in France in 2013, whereas they increased in the Eurozone, in particular in Germany. This demonstrates the positive effect of the tax credit for competitiveness and employment (CICE – Crédit d’impôt pour la compétitivité et l’emploi), which will be consolidated by the implementation of the Responsibility and Solidarity Pact

7. France focuses on quality of life

France has the most financially accessible healthcare system in AFII’s ranking. With healthcare representing 33% of GDP, it also has the highest public spending for social protection. This is a strong indicator of the quality of the system. Culture, leisure, places of worship: France is lastly the second country in terms of public spending linked to its citizens’ quality of life.

8. France is switching to green energy

France is the second European producer of primary energy drawn from renewable energy sources (11.7%) behind Germany (18.5%) but in front of Sweden (10.4%). It is also the only country which produces tidal energy in the European Union.

9. Its attractiveness creates jobs

France appreciates foreign investors and this has its rewards! In 2013, France received 16% of foreign investments which created jobs in Europe. In France, almost one employee out of nine works in a subsidiary of a foreign group and one employee out of five in the manufacturing industry. This is higher than in Germany, Spain or Finland.

10. It is connected to the world

PlaneRoissy-Charles de Gaulle is the second largest airport for passenger traffic in Europe, after Heathrow in London. It is the first airport for freight traffic! Moreover, the two Paris airports are ranked among the top 15 European airports. In France, each of the 45 airports, including six international airports, record over 150,000 passenger traffic per year.

France Attractiveness Scoreboard (2014 Edition)

* Study carried out in 14 countries: Germany, Austria, Belgium, Spain, Finland, France, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Poland, United Kingdom, Sweden, United States of America and Japan.

Dernière modification : 09/12/2014

top of the page