With 19 FDI decisions per week in 2014, France is attractive

The “2014 Annual Report: Foreign investment in France, the international development of the French economy” analyses foreign investment decisions in France and their contribution to the French economy.


In 2014, 1,014 investment decisions created or maintained 26,535 jobs, among which there were 68 projects involving site takeovers by foreign investors that safeguarded 6,411 jobs. On a like-for-like basis with 2013*, 740 investment decisions were recorded, up 8% from 2013.

There were also 84 merger/acquisition or shareholding acquisition transactions announced, amounting to a total of more than €13.5 billion.

France continues to attract investments in high value-added business activities, particularly production/manufacturing and research.

- Foreign companies invested primarily in production/manufacturing activities (303 projects), which accounted for 30% of all investments made in France. These projects generated 11,601 jobs, or 44% of all jobs.
- Foreign investment projects in R&D, engineering design activities accounted for 9% of all investments (91 projects, versus 77 last year). Twenty-seven percent of all business enterprise R&D expenditure in France is carried out by foreign-owned subsidiaries.
- New investment decisions in headquarters were up too: 16 new Global/European Headquarters were recorded in 2014, versus five in 2013, and 12 in 2012.

Investments from European countries accounted for 61% of all investment decisions, followed by North America (22%), and Asia (12%). The leading investors in France were the United States (19%), Germany (14%), the United Kingdom (9%), Italy (9%), and Japan (6%). Project numbers were up from many countries, including the United Kingdom, Japan, the United States, Switzerland, Canada and Denmark.

The economic buoyancy of France’s regions and cities is often a decisive factor in attracting investment. In 2014, every region in France attracted new foreign investment, while 17 regions were chosen to host new R&D projects. Two-thirds of new foreign investments were located in six regions: Ile-de-France (Paris region), Midi-Pyrénées, Rhône-Alpes-Côte d’Azur, Nord-Pas de Calais and Alsace.

“The number of investments is at its second highest in the last 10 years, which is good news. France is attracting investment, particularly in strategic activities like research and headquarters. I’m also pleased to note the diversity of source countries: while more than half of investments naturally came from European countries, 22% were from North America and 12% from Asia,” said Laurent Fabius, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development.

“France must continue to capitalize on its talent and innovation capacity; this can already be seen in practice and reflects the positive impact of the French government’s policy to attract foreign investment. Indeed, foreign companies are singling out France as an investment location for strategic activities, such as headquarters, R&D centers and manufacturing sites, where human capital is a decisive factor. The number of investment projects in R&D centers is up 18% from last year,” said Emmanuel Macron, Minister for the Economy, Industry and Digital Affairs.

“Foreign companies play a full role in economic development in France, contributing to the vibrancy of France’s regions and creating employment opportunities. Foreign-owned companies in France are responsible for 31% of French exports and employ two million people,” said Matthias Fekl, Minister of State with responsibility for Foreign Trade, the Promotion of Tourism and French Nationals Abroad.

“The 8% rise in foreign investment decisions is playing a part in generating growth in France. In a globally competitive environment, it is crucial that we close the gap between perception and reality; for as these results show, France is an open, dynamic and innovative place to do business. Along with our economic development partners in France’s regions, Business France personnel provided support to 55% of projects in the 2014 Annual Report, up 16% from last year,” said Muriel Pénicaud, France’s Ambassador for International Investment and CEO of Business France.

For more information, you can visit the Say Oui to France website.

Published on 28/04/2015

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