Foreign investments: France is back on track

According to EY’s attractiveness report, the number of foreign investment projects in France increased by 31% in 2017. These figures come into line with the trends outlined by Regional Partner since the launch of its FDI program Set Up in France. Image: Actualites/ey-foreign-investments.png

According to the consulting company EY’s annual survey published on June 11th, France’s attractiveness significantly improved last year. With 1,019 projects i.e an increase of 31% compared to last year of both FDI and site extensions projects, France has rejoined the top 3 most attractive investment destinations. Hence, France follows the United Kingdom with 1205 projects and Germany with 1124 projects.

France’s attractiveness is improving

The European economic growth and the Brexit impact spurred this upturn. Lately, London seems to no longer be the main home destination for headquarters and financial centers as it used to be in this last decade (a drop of 31% between 2016 and 2017 in the number of projects). For the first time, Paris is becoming the most attractive city in Europe, ahead of London.

Other figures proving the comeback of “destination France”: in 2017, foreign companies announced 59 decision-making center projects, against 16 in 2016. France has witnessed a jump of 53% in R&D center projects (78 foreign projects last year). However, the competition remains stiff in the sectors of the future such as in the AI and the health sectors.

A trend widely shared by the Set Up in France prospection program

These France’s attractiveness report elements confirm the results of Set Up In France, the FDI prospection program launched by Regional Partner in June 2017. The program has already detected 119 projects with 13 already achieved.

A quarter of the projects outbound from the United Kingdom and some of them can partly be attributed to Brexit. Its impact on foreign investments hasn’t back down in 2018 and can manifest itself in different ways:

  • - UK companies explore the possibility of opening new offices in mainland Europe to keep their ties with the EU
  • - Complete transfer of activity projects from the UK to France are less frequent than development projects
  • - Non-EU companies consider France as an alternative to the UK because of Brexit. They do state that without Brexit, they would’ve set up their business in the UK

Despite the improvement in its attractiveness these past few years, France is still suffering from its “rather slow admin process” label, compared to other countries. Labor cost, tax competition and admin process facilitation remain major issues for foreign leaders. France must hence keep improving its “pro-business” initiatives to keep attracting foreign investors.

Source :

Baromètre de l'attractivité de la France 2018

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