According to a recent financial report from Ernst and Young, France is becoming more and more attractive to foreign investors, especially when it comes to investing in industrial projects[1].

In 2014, the amount of foreign investment in France has increased 18% in comparison with the previous year.

It appears this result stems from the strength of logistics in France and, being at the heart of Europe, its important role as a central platform.

WHY INVEST IN FRANCE?

Let alone the French culture and gastronomy, why is France so attractive?

Some amazing stats and figures can definitely prove wrong the clichés regarding the French investment environment.

1

France alone is a market of over 65 million consumers, making it the 2nd largest in Europe and the world’s sixth largest economy.

The European Union remains the world’s largest economy, with over 500 million consumers.

2

France has the largest road network and the 2nd largest high-speed rail network in Europe.

It is the largest recipient of foreign direct investment (FDI) in logistics and is home to the 2nd busiest European airport (cargo and passengers): Roissy-Charles-de-Gaulle.

3

France ranks 6th in the world for hourly labour productivity (€45.6 per hour worked compared with €37.3 in the Eurozone).

It has a highly-qualified workforce: in 2013, 44% of 30-34 year olds were higher-education graduates.

4

Set-up and operating costs are lower in France than in the United States, Germany or Japan.

Furthermore, renting office space in the Paris business centre cost half of the same space in London’s West End (€875/m²/year as opposed to €1,978/m²/year).

It is noteworthy that setting up a business in France costs less than 1% of average per capital income, compared to an average of 9% in the G20 countries.

5

The WORLD’S LARGEST INCUBATOR is in France: the Halle Freyssinet which will bring together 1,000 start-ups in Paris in 2016.

6

Research tax credits are opened to all companies and amounted to about €5 billion in 2015. No less than 20,441 companies has received it in 2012.

€47 billion were mobilized for the future investments programme and the French Very-High-Speed Broadband Plan.

7

Paris is the

  • World’s 7th-largest financial centre;
  • 3rd largest in Europe for company bonds;
  • 5th in the world for transactions in yuan; and
  • 3rd largest in Europe for the management of financial assets.
8

France is an attractive destination for

  • Professionals (Paris is the world’s number one destination for business conferences);
  • Students (world’s 3rd most popular destination); and
  • Tourists (world’s number 1 destination).
9

The Competitiveness and Employment Tax Credit and the Responsibility and Solidarity Pact together make up a €40 billion reduction in production costs for companies: this is equivalent to almost 2% of GDP which will support activity and enable 500,000 jobs to be created by 2020.

10

France is the European leader in terms of e-administration and is 4th in the global ranking based on three criteria:

  • On-line services offered by the government;
  • Telecom infrastructures; and
  • The level of education of its population.

This makes it simpler to run a company and has enabled them to save €3.3 billion in 2013-2014.

11

France has signed tax conventions with over 120 countries (avoidance of double taxation). It has also provided companies with a single contact for tax matters (Tax4Business) and adapted residence permits (Talents Passport created in 2015).

12

A grant and a support mechanism for innovative entrepreneurs were also set up, known as the FRENCH TECH TICKET.

The French Tech Ticket is a program designed for non-french entrepreneurs from all over the world who want to create their start-up in Paris.

13

France is the world’s top tourist destination, with 83 million foreign tourists per year.

China provides most of the Asians tourists choosing France for their holidays (1.5 million). Meanwhile, the inbound figures of Brazilians and Russians are constantly increasing.

Needless to say that tourism makes an essential contribution to France’s foreign trade. The tourist trade has shown a marked progression, reaching a total of nearly €13 billion in 2012, as compared to €7.5 billion in 2011.

Foreign tourists in France have spent a total of € 35.8 billion.

Furthermore, wine tourism is one of the most dynamic industries. 24 million people visited wine regions in 2015.

14

12 French groups are included in the list of the 100 most innovative organizations in the world published by the news agency, Thomson Reuters, on October 7th 2015:

  • 9 French companies (Alcatel-Lucent, Arkema, EADS, L’Oréal, Michelin, Saint-Gobain, Thales, Safran and Valeo) and
  • 3 French public bodies (CEA, CNRS and IFP Energies Nouvelles)

In fact, France ranks 3rd in the world, just after the United States and Japan.

AND THAT’S NOT ALL …

 

Reducing Labour Costs

The French government has drawn the “Responsibility and Solidarity Pact” which reduced labor costs by €30 billion in 2016.

And believe it or not, during the second quarter of 2014, hourly labor costs in French industry (€36.81) were lower than Germany’s (€38.49)!!!

 

Cutting Energy Costs

French industry has a smaller carbon footprint relative to GDP than the UK, Japan, Germany and the USA.

France has very competitive electricity rates: €74 / MWh (exc. VAT) for manufacturers, compared with €84 in Germany, and €124 in the United Kingdom.

France’s location offers easy access to Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) markets. In 2013, French airports set a new record, handling nearly 172 million commercial passengers. Paris-Charles de Gaulle is ranked second by passenger numbers after London Heathrow and first for cargo in Europe, while Paris-Le Bourget is Europe’s leading business airport.

HELP IN CASE OF BUSINESS DIFFICULTIES

 

A well-balanced bankruptcy system distinguishes companies that are financially distressed, but economically viable, from inefficient companies that have to be liquidated.

But in some insolvency systems, even viable businesses are liquidated. This is starting to change.

In France, many recent reforms of bankruptcy laws have aimed at helping more of the viable businesses survive.

Globally, France stands at 24th in the ranking of 189 economies regarding the ease of resolving insolvency. (Source: Doing Business Report by the World Bank)

WHAT ELSE?

The Loi Macron dated 6 August 2015 has been enacted to promote growth, activity and equality of economic opportunity.

 

The law inter alia :

  • Adds exceptions to the prohibition on Sunday work, making it easier for retail stores to trade on Sundays.
  • Widens the possibilities for retail stores to stay open in the evening.
  • Relaxes the employer’s obligation to inform employees of a business sale.
  • Introduces greater flexibility in the event of redundancy.
  • Provides further sanctions in the event of non-compliance with posted work.

ENTER FRANCE

By choosing Enter France to be by your side in your French venture, you’ll quickly see how the French market and its know-how can give a fantastic boost to your business.

As far as we are concerned, Enter France operates end-to-end solutions covering the lifespan of your business. In that respect, we will endeavour to engineer and implement a cutting edge business strategy for your French market.

The second Enter France gets the go-ahead, we will implement our process-driven and cost-effective methodology to deliver the best services.