FRANCE, AN ATTRACTIVE COUNTRY TO INVESTORS

FRANCE, A DYNAMIC ECONOMY AT THE HEART OF EUROPE

At the heart of the world’s top marketplace, France makes an ideal springboard for selling to other European countries, as well as to African and Middle-Eastern markets.

A strong, diverse economy

» Dynamic economy, market and industry

• 2nd economy in Europe and 5th worldwide,

• 2nd market of Europe, with 65 million inhabitants,

» High-end industrial sectors in France

• Ranked 2nd in Europe for chemical industry,

• Ranked 3rd in Europe for processed food,

• Ranked 4th in Europe for telecommunications.

A country nurturing high-technologies and R&D

• France offers the best R&D tax credit in Europe – the rate covers 30% of all R&D expenses up to €100 million and 5% above this threshold.

• 71 technology clusters

• more than 5,700 collaborative R&D projects have been undertaken since 2005.

• More than 600 foreign companies established in France are members of innovation clusters.

• For the 3rd consecutive year, French start-ups came at the top of the Deloitte Technology Fast 500 ranking for European technology companies.

• The Research Act of July 2013 strengthens the links between academia and the private sector.

• The government sponsors 34 large-scale projects through a €3 billion program, which brings together large French companies, foreign researchers and start-ups in the fields of nanotechnology, robotics, cloud-computing, etc.

A country warmly welcoming Foreign companies

• France is the 5th largest FDI stock in the world (source UNTCAD 2013), the leading destination in Europe for foreign investment in Industry (E&Y European attractiveness survey 2013)

• France offers a favourable cost structure, ahead of the USA, Japan and Germany (source KPMG’s “Competitive Alternatives” 2013).

• France is also ranked 4th globally, and 3rd in the European Union, for hourly labour productivity (source the Conference Board, 2013).

• Foreign investment in France is free of any administrative restrictions: investors are able to buy or rent property, to acquire French companies or to create their own legal entity without having to invest a minimum amount or to create a minimum number of jobs.

• In January 2014, the French President has announced a series of pro-business measures: cutting labour costs and corporate taxation cuts (corporate taxes will be reduced by 50 billion euros by 2017), simplifying doing business (e.g. accounting requirements for SME’s have been greatly simplified, generating savings of €140M).

• New measures to further bolster foreign investments in France also encompass: the guarantee that tax rules on foreign investment will remain stable and predictable; a “talent passport” which makes easier for skilled professionals and workers to come to France with their families (4-year renewable visas).

A country which financially supports companies investments See the page on Investment aid and conditions

FRANCE, AN ATTRACTIVE COUNTRY TO CHINESE INVESTORS

Les chiffres deviennent significatifs et ils augmentent assez rapidement, avec une trentaine d’implantations par an au cours des dernières années. « La Chine fait un score comparable à celui de voisins européens comme la Suisse ou l’Autriche, loin derrière l’Allemagne ou les États-Unis, mais nous faisons le pari que le mouvement va s’amplifier », déclare le président de l’AFII, David Appia.According to Chinese investors, France has five major advantages: technology and expertise sought in diverse areas (air, rail, nuclear, machine tool ...), the internationally known brands (Chanel, Dior Louis Vuitton ...), quality infrastructure, a strategic position at the center of Europe and a skilled workforce.

By the end of 2013, about 240 Chinese investors had chosen France, where they account for nearly 10,000 jobs. With 70 subsidiaries of companies from Hong Kong, they employ a total of 16,000 people who work for companies from China or Hong Kong (as a comparison, Japanese companies employ over 80,000 people in France).

The numbers become significant and they increase quite rapidly, with thirty settlements per year in recent years. "China is comparable to the score of European neighbors such as Switzerland and Austria, behind Germany and the United States, but we bet that the movement will grow," says the president of the Invest in France Agency, David Appia.

 

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