Attractiveness is key to bringing new companies and international talents to France, in order to develop industrial and R&D sites and create jobs throughout the territory.
France has many advantages that make it stand out in the world, such as access to a huge, vibrant market, excellent transport and communications infrastructure, a qualified, productive workforce, competitive energy prices, and an effective and accessible healthcare system. These are all advantages which attract foreigners to France to invest, travel, study, live and develop their projects.
Foreign investors prioritize France for their projects. In 2020, France welcomed 1,215 international investment projects, thus creating or maintaining over 34,500 jobs. Since 2019, France has been the leading European destination for foreign investment, according to the EY Attractiveness Survey. It has also been the number one destination for industrial projects in Europe for the past 15 years. Almost 16,000 subsidiaries of foreign companies are now based in France, employing 2.2 million people and accounting for 13% of all jobs.
Since 2018, the Choose France Summit, launched at the initiative of the President of the Republic, has become the flagship event for France’s economic attractiveness. Each year, the Summit, convened by the President and members of the Government, brings together hundreds of leaders from the largest multinational corporations at the Château de Versailles. It seeks to promote France’s economic attractiveness and encourage international investment across the country. The Choose France Summit has now found its place on the international business community’s agenda, and is set apart by the central role of direct discussions between business and political leaders.
The fourth Choose France Summit was held on 18 June 2021, in the first international business event since the outbreak of the pandemic. It brought together more than 200 major business leaders, 120 of whom from abroad. The Summit also received high-ranking guests including European Commissioner Thierry Breton and, alongside Minister Delegate Franck Riester, the Director-General of the WTO, Ms Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, and Prof. Schwab, founder of the World Economic Forum. Their participation illustrates how well the Summit has taken root in the landscape of major economic events since 2018.
The 2021 Summit focused on resilience and the economic recovery in France and Europe. Three workshops were led by the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) on the themes of bringing back European industry and ensuring its resilience, disruptive innovation, and logistical issues. The ecological transition and decarbonization of the economy were discussed in all debates.
Lastly, more than 400 bilateral meetings were held with the President of the Republic, members of the Government, and leaders of foreign and French companies, so as to discuss the detail of investment projects in France and raise awareness of the benefits of the French economy.
The first three Choose France Summits saw the announcement of 35 investment projects totalling €6.5 billion. To date, 20 projects have been completed, totalling €2.3 billion, 14 are underway, totalling €4.2 billion, and a single, small-scale project (€9 million) has been abandoned.
The 2021 Summit confirmed these trends, with the announcement of 22 new investment projects representing €3.5 billion and 7,000 jobs across France. These projects include the Envision battery “gigafactory” at the Renault site in Douai (Hauts-de-France), involving €2 billion in investment and 2,500 new jobs by 2030.
The Summit was the culmination of several years of increased economic attractiveness for France, as the leading global destination for foreign investments for the second year running, ahead of the United Kingdom and Germany (annual EY Attractiveness Survey). France has also been the leading European destination for industrial projects for more than 15 years, and for strategic R&D projects since 2018.
The France-Nigeria Business Council, inaugurated by President Macron in 2018 to strengthen ties between private actors in the two countries, met on the sidelines of the Choose France Summit. Led by Minister Delegate Franck Riester and closed by President Macron, its meeting was an opportunity for companies in both countries to showcase their expertise with a view to forging new partnerships.
Promoting the French economy and attracting job-creating foreign investments are part of the MEAE’s missions. Within this framework, the Ministry is running many initiatives to internationally promote France’s advantages, reforms and image, in collaboration with Business France and with the support of our network of embassies, which are closely liaising with economic decision-makers abroad.
Updated: July 2021