With 1,259 new projects in 2022 (a 3% increase from 2021), foreign-owned companies play a significant role in the French economy, employing 2.2 million people and contributing around 20% of the GDP, 25% of private R&D, and 35% of industrial exports. Despite economic and social instability, France has surged ahead of its competitors, the UK and Germany, thanks to successive reform waves since 2007.
In the manufacturing sector, France remains the top destination for factory establishments and extensions, with 547 projects. The country is also the main hub for R&D investments, largely driven by its incentivizing innovation policy. A large portion of these investments occurs in rural areas or medium-sized agglomerations, with the Ile-de-France region surpassing Greater London as the most attractive European region.
Foreign investment in France is distributed across various sectors, including business services, software and IT, automotive, aeronautics, industrial equipment, and agri-food. The availability of decarbonized energy and a skilled workforce are considered France’s primary industrial assets by international executives.
Furthermore, France is experiencing a transition towards greener practices. The automotive and aeronautics sectors are making a significant shift towards decarbonized mobility. The health sector is witnessing a move towards repatriating production capacities that were previously outsourced to Asia. Lastly, in the electronics industry, particularly in the strategic semiconductor sector, France is benefiting from the current investment momentum in Europe, aiming to limit its dependence on Asian countries.
Should you wish to invest and/or be a French resident: please refer to our Business & Immigration section (Talent Passport)