Sectors & markets

Business France published its “2018 Annual Report: Foreign investment in France”

France’s attractiveness improved further in 2018. A new record was set, with 1,323 foreign investment projects, a figure greater than the previous record high of 1,298 projects in 2017, leading to 30,302 jobs being created or maintained.

Companies investing in France come from nearly 60 different countries. France’s image is improving by the day, with 61% of foreign business leaders believing that the country’s attractiveness has increased over the last two years. This amounts to a seven-point increase on 2017, following a 16-point rise the previous year.

France is an open and welcoming country, with no fewer than 28,600 foreign companies, employing two million people, and accounting for 21% of R&D expenditure and 31% of exports. In addition, 343,400 foreign students chose France for their studies in 2017-2018, up 4.5% on the previous year.

For the last fifteen years, France has been the leading host country in Europe for foreign investment in industry, and 80% of foreign investors believe that French industry is attractive. In 2018, 320 industrial projects were identified,which led to 11,295 jobs being created or maintained, and accounted for one-quarter of all investments and 37% of all employment. The United States (16%) and Germany (15%) are the main foreign investors in industrial activity in France.

France is also an innovative country with a wealth of talent. It currently boasts one million engineers, the largest number in Europe alongside Germany, and it has one of the highest numbers in Europe of students in advanced research.

R&D operations accounted for 10% of all foreign investments in France in 2018 and rose by more than 3% compared with 2017, having grown by more than 9% on average over the past five years. In 2018, R&D operations led to 2,793 jobs being created or maintained, up 23% compared with 2017. The United States is the leading foreign investor in R&D in France, accounting for 26% of investment decisions recorded in this area.

Selected key figures:

  • France attracted a total of 1,323 new job-creating foreign investments in 2018. On average, 25 foreign investment decisions were made in France every week throughout the year.
  • France is the second most attractive country in Europe after Germany (Kantar Public / Business France). No fewer than 420 new companies decided to expand their business by investing in France in 2018, making up 30% of all investment projects recorded.
  • Decisions involving investments at new sites increased by 14%, and amounted to 741 projects, representing more than half of all investments (56%).
  • One-quarter of investment projects in France were in industrial activities, which accounted for 37% of total employment.
  • R&D operations have grown by more than 9% on average over the last five years and now account for 10% of all investments.
  • The United States retains its position as the leading investor in France, ahead of Germany and the United Kingdom.
  • According to a study carried out by Kantar Public, 88% of foreign business leaders believe that France is an attractive investment location, and 78% of companies are happy with their investments in France.


ACCESS THE ANNUAL REPORT (english version)


ACCEDEZ AU RAPPORT ANNUEL (version française)

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