Analyses & Studies

From a Paris Point of View


In a complex and unstable geopolitical environment, marked by climate change, electoral upheaval and conflicts in Europe and the Middle East, the Franco-British economic relationship continues to surge, with a record year: €121 billion (£105 billion) in trade in 2023, up 9% on 2023*.  

Continuing the trend from last year, France has a surplus in goods exports, while the UK remains the leader for services. These figures are particularly encouraging. Most notably, inflation is returning to a suitable level and energy costs are on the decline, both of which had previously had significant adverse impacts on results. 

France regained its 4th place ranking ahead now of China as the UK’s 4th largest trading partner which accounts for 6% of total trade for the country. The Franco-British relationship remains essential, both diplomatically and economically.  

Undeniably, we are facing geopolitical turmoil the likes of which we have not seen for a very long time: 

The European Parliament will be made up of a much larger block of sovereigntist and nationalist right-wingers, and therefore much more ideologically marked. But the majority will nonetheless remain stable about the forces in power, and the agenda should not be altered too much. 

On the domestic front, the UK and France are currently in the middle of an election campaign to decide their parliament and it appears that there could be major changes for both our countries. Of course, business leaders always prefer to operate in a stable environment that allows them to plan and build their perspectives but whatever the outcome of the elections, we will keep a “Business as Usual” approach. 

 France and the UK have shown in recent years, despite the pandemic and with a war on Europe's doorstep, that they will remain strong and resilient countries capable of innovating to find the path to Growth. 

Our two countries are highly complementary, particularly in key sectors such as cybersecurity and artificial intelligence, where we have excellent researchers and engineers, and in the energy transition for sustainable development and securing our energy supplies. Finally, we must continue to work together as well on mobility issues to make the movement of goods and people smoother and easier.  

French entrepreneurs do not see the forthcoming general election in Great Britain as a cause for concern. Whoever wins, we believe that this should not significantly affect economic relations between our two countries and that the commitments already made should be respected. 

In conclusion, we intend to continue to be the voice of business to our two governments thanks to the UK-France Business Forum, which we co-chair with the French Chamber of Commerce in Great Britain. This initiative launched in 2022, brings together key decision-makers at major French and British companies to promote a stable environment to encourage trade between our countries. 


*According to the Franco-British Economic Relations Barometer published on June 13, 2024, by the Cross-Channel Institute, the independent and apolitical think-tank of the Franco-British Chamber. 

Written by President of Franco-British Chamber in France, Françoise Rausch OBE. 

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