France’s 2019 FDI Report: a record year for foreign investment in France

The 2019 Report of international investments in France, published today, reaffirms the confidence of foreign and Irish investors in France.


  • Twice as many jobs were created in France by Irish companies in 2019 compared to the previous year.
  • France takes number 1 spot for FDIs in Europe for the first time according to the 2019 EY attractiveness Barometer.
  • 11% total increase in projects and 30% total increase in jobs as a direct result of FDI in France

The 2019 Report of international investments in France, published today, reaffirms the confidence of foreign and Irish investors in France.

France was the most attractive country in Europe for foreign investors in 2019. Our economic policy is showing results; now we should continue in this direction. These foreign investments are a chance for employment, our economy and our regions. We have all the advantages to emerge stronger from the coronavirus crisis” said Bruno Le Maire, the Minister for the Economy and Finance.

Irish Investment in France

Investment decisions by Irish companies created 376 jobs in 2019, more than twice as many as in 2018.

  • These investments involved production/manufacturing operations (four projects), consumer services (four projects) and business services (two projects).
  • The construction and building materials sector, along with the transport/storage sector, were the leading sectors for Irish investment in France.
  • The Occitanie region was the most popular region for Irish investors in 2019, followed by Pays de la Loire.
  • There are more than 150 Irish companies operating in France, employing over 25,000 people.
  • With €2.1 billion FDI stock in France, Ireland is now one of the world’s top 20 investors in France.

Foreign Investment in France

Globally, France attracted a total of 1,468 new foreign investment decisions in 2019, an increase of 11% compared to 2018 (1,323 decisions).

Jobs created or maintained in France by investments from foreign businesses also jumped 30%, creating 39,542 jobs in 2019. On average, 28 investment decisions were recorded every week in France last year.

A large majority of the investment projects identified in 2019 are already underway, or have already been completed, which already serves as a solid foundation for France’s FDI balance sheet.

French industry remained the main beneficiary of foreign investments (new sites and expansions), with 26% of all investments and 380 projects in 2019, up 19% from 2018. Production/manufacturing activities remain the leading contributors to international investment in terms of jobs, with 13,814 positions (including 10,099 jobs created and 3,715 jobs maintained, up 22% compared to 2018). This equates to 35% of total employment in the sector. Aerospace and railway equipment manufacturers (21%) and the automotive industry (14%) took the lion’s share of investment.

R&D and engineering activities accounted for 22% of international investments, with 157 invest-ment decisions, compared with 129 projects in 2018 (up 22%). Jobs associated with the creation and expansion of R&D centres rose by 35% in 2019, with 3,775 jobs, compared with 2,793 jobs in 2018.

For more information, please contact Penny Atkinson | | +44(0)20 8132 4589

About Business France

Business France is the French national agency supporting the international development of the French economy, responsible for facilitating the development of French companies in foreign markets, as well as promoting international investments in France. Business France also promotes the creativity and innovation of French companies, demonstrating how French talent extends beyond borders and throughout the world.

Published on 03/06/2020

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