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Economic relations

Economic relations

Given the size of its market, its degree of openness and geographic proximity, Germany is France’s leading trading partner. In 2009, French exports to Germany stood at €55.2b (-16%) and French imports from Germany stood at €71b (-8.7%). France’s bilateral deficit decreased: moving from €18.4b in 2008 to €15.8b in 2009. France imports especially transportation equipment, mechanical equipment, and electrical, electronic and computer equipment from Germany, and exports the same types of products to Germany. Chemicals, perfumes and cosmetics, and finally, agrifood products, follow.

In terms of investment, Germany is the fifth-leading foreign investor in France and in 2009 became the leading country of origin in terms of foreign investments and creators of jobs in France. France is the fourth-leading foreign investor country in Germany. German investments have been increasing steadily for many years. More than 2,700 German companies in France provide 300,000 jobs. One in five jobs in the French automotive sector is generated by German companies (subsidiaries of Siemens, Bosch, Thyssen-Krupp as well as Smart). German electronic and medical equipment companies generate 15% of the sector’s jobs in France. In financial services, Allianz, which owns AGF, is the third-leading foreign investor in France.

Finally, there are numerous, diverse economic cooperation initiatives between France and Germany. Although they are generally rivals, major French and German companies seek partnerships between each other to improve their competitiveness and their presence in certain markets involving critical mass. The economic and financial crisis has also played a role in promoting rapprochements in the automotive sector, in particular.

Updated on 27.05.11

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