The government will still be able to shout croaking. According to figures published on Monday March 14 by Business France, France’s promotion agency abroad, France has never been as attractive as last year. In 2021, some 1,607 foreign investment projects were identified on French territory, a figure up 32% over one year (in 2020, projects had fallen sharply due to the health crisis), and above all the most high level of projects never reached since 2014.
→ REREAD. For foreign companies, France remains attractive
In total, these investments would have enabled the creation or maintenance of more than 45,000 jobs in the territory, an increase of 30% over one year. As for the nature of the projects, this is another reason for the government agency’s satisfaction, since of the 1,607 projects listed, more than a quarter would be of industrial origin (460), up 49% over one year. . The proof according to Business France that the reindustrialization of the country is on the right track.
France on the road to reindustrialization
“These results illustrate that the process of reindustrialisation of our economy, which has been underway for several years, is accelerating in 2021 and that, far from having been started, the confidence placed by international investors in the France site is emerging strengthened from the health crisis. Industrial projects represent 29% of international projects in France and 36% of related jobs”specifies Business France.
In detail, investment decisions come mainly from European countries (66%), and for the first time, Germany passed the United States, with 300 projects identified (+48%). As for the territories where these projects will be located, they would be fairly distributed between the major French regions, with in particular 43% of the investments being located in towns of less than 200,000 inhabitants.
A few weeks before the presidential election, the government, which had made the attractiveness of France one of the priorities of the five-year term, will be able to highlight these good results. It must be said that in recent years, the country has continued to gain places in the international attractiveness rankings. According to Ernst & Young, France would today be the leading European country for receiving foreign investment in terms of the number of projects.
→ INVESTIGATION. France, a land of welcome for foreign investors
Proof according to Bercy that the reforms undertaken over the past five years – flexibility of the labor market, reduction in charges, corporate tax and production taxes – have borne fruit, and that the advantages of the France site – its location geographical, central within the single market, its dynamic demography, its infrastructures or even its level of training – cannot be denied.
French companies invest massively abroad
Nevertheless, these rankings should be viewed with some caution, as they only show part of the country’s attractiveness. Each year, the Banque de France publishes the balance of direct investment between France and abroad, which makes it possible to assess whether foreign firms have invested more in France than French companies have invested abroad. In 2020, this amounted to 35.9 billion euros, i.e. French companies have bet much more on international markets (40.3 billion euros invested), than the reverse (4.4 billion).
Another figure that puts the good health of French attractiveness into perspective: in 2020, France was only 17and host country of foreign investment (FDI) flows in the world, according to Unctad (United Nations Conference on Trade and Development), when it was 12and before the health crisis. France also ranks sixth in Europe, behind Luxembourg, Germany, Ireland, Sweden and the United Kingdom.
To draw the true balance of the five-year term in terms of attractiveness, it will therefore be interesting to wait for the publication of the next figures from Cnuced, which should unfortunately take place after the presidential election.