FDI in France

Overview by Globlatrade.net:

FDI in Figures

France ranks third in the world in attracting Foreign Direct Investments. Paris is the second city in the world, after Tokyo, in terms of establishment of multinational headquarters. It has about 500. Nevertheless, the country showed a decline in foreign investment due to the deterioration of the international economic situation; this should however improve with the economic recovery.

The country's strengths include: its position as a fifth world's largest power, its highly skilled workforce, industrial base and agricultural resources and its geographic location in the center of Europe.

Foreign Direct Investment 2007 2008 2009
FDI Inward Flow (million USD) 96,221 62,257 59,628
FDI Stock (million USD) 1,260,244 920,842 1,132,961
Performance Index*, Ranking on 141 Economies 88 100 71
Potential Index**, Ranking on 141 Economies 19 18 -
Number of Greenfield Investments*** 569 680 408
FDI Inwards (in % of GFCF****) 17.3 10.0 22.8
FDI Stock (in % of GDP) 48.6 32.3 42.8

Source: UNCTAD

Note: * The UNCTAD Inward FDI Performance Index is Based on a Ratio of the Country's Share in Global FDI Inflows and its Share in Global GDP. ** The UNCTAD Inward FDI Potential Index is Based on 12 Economic and Structural Variables Such as GDP, Foreign Trade, FDI, Infrastructures, Energy Use, R&D, Education, Country Risk. *** Green Field Investments Are a Form of Foreign Direct Investment Where a Parent Company Starts a New Venture in a Foreign Country By Constructing New Operational Facilities From the Ground Up. **** Gross Fixed Capital Formation (GFCF) Measures the Value of Additions to Fixed Assets Purchased By Business, Government and Households Less Disposals of Fixed Assets Sold Off or Scrapped.


FDI Inflows By Countries and Industry

Main Investing Countries 2009, in %
Netherlands 15.9
UK 14.1
Luxembourg 12.2
Belgium 11.2
USA 10.3
Germany 10.0
Switzerland 5.9
Spain 3.5
Main Invested Sectors 2009, in %
Manufacturing 28.3
Finance and insurance activities 23.5
Real estate activities 13.6
Trade, car and motorcycle repair services 8.6
Administrative and support services 7.5
Information and communication services 5.0
Specialized activities, research and technology 4.0

Source: Bank of France

Form of Company Preferred By Foreign Investors
SA: public limited company
Form of Establishment Preferred By Foreign Investors
The subsidiary
Main Foreign Companies
Consult some examples of investment projects in France.
Sources of Statistics
The Ministry of Industry
The French Agency for international investments

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Why You Should Choose to Invest in France

Strong Points
France is one of the world's ten economic powers. It has quality infrastructures. The work force is qualified and productive (second in Europe in terms of hourly productivity). France is an innovative country with an highly developed tertiary fabric.
Weak Points
The drawbacks of the French market are: one of the highest taxation rates in the world, significant manpower costs, low competitiveness in some sectors which can hinder the economies of scale. Research suffers from insufficient collaboration between the public and private sectors.
Government Measures to Motivate or Restrict FDI
Foreign companies enjoy the same government aid as French companies (aid for productive investment, R&D, professional training, job creation, etc.). The number of administrative formalities for foreign companies to settle in France has been reduced.


To fight against the financial crisis, the French government has implemented different mesures: the economic relaunch plan has committed the financing of 1,000 projects. These investments bear on transport infrastructures, higher education and research, State real estate property, housing and urban redevelopment and also health. Additionally, Sarkozy's government has abolished the professional tax in order to permanantly stimulate investment. Furthermore, the government established a strategic investment fund of EUR 20 billion, in Autumn 2008. Its aim: to buy stakes in industrial companies whose development is essential to the French economy.

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