2015 Foreign Investment in France report released

33,682 jobs created or maintained by foreign investment in France in 2015 and France first destination for British investments in Europe

Paris, March 22, 2016

The “2015 Annual Report: Foreign investment in France. The international development of the French economy” released today analyzes foreign investment decisions in France and their contribution to the French economy.

In 2015, 962 investment decisions created or maintained 33,682 jobs, the best figure in the last five years. With an average of 19 decisions made every week, 2015 saw a 27% increase in jobs generated by foreign investment, up from 26,535 in 2014.

The UK has actively contributed to these results with 81 new investment decisions leading to the creation or maintenance of 2,833 jobs in France. 20% of these investments are in the business and retail sector, with 15% in business services and 11% in IT.

Foreign companies invested primarily in production/manufacturing operations, which accounted for 30% of all foreign investments in France, generating 16,168 jobs (up from 11,601 in 2014), or 48% of all jobs created or maintained.

Another key development was the increase in headquarters, as the number of new global or European headquarters rose sharply from 16 in 2014 to 27 in 2015. German firm Siemens decided in 2015 to make Toulouse (Languedoc-Roussillon-Midi-Pyrénées region) the global headquarters for all operations relating to its ‘Val’ range of turnkey automated metro solutions, while Canadian horticulture and agriculture specialist Premier Tech decided to expand its European headquarters in the Pays de la Loire region, creating a new automated production line and global R&D center.

The number of R&D, engineering and design projects (87) remained high, amounting to 9% of all foreign investment decisions in 2015. Foreign-owned subsidiaries in France were responsible for 28% of all business enterprise R&D expenditure nationwide, spending €8.6 billion.

Regarding British investments, they are characterized by the arrival of new companies on the territory, like the coach service provider, Stagecoach, took advantage of the new regulation, quickly deploying a network of agencies in Lyon, Lille, Bordeaux, and Nantes, to provide full service solutions for their customers.

British companies already established in France also shown an increasing confidence in the French economy driving investments in their existing sites. It is particularly the case for the aeronautical sector where Gardner Aerospace realized significant investments on its manufacturing sites in Midi Pyrenees (+30 jobs) to respond to increasing demand in France.

Foreign investments were received from 53 different countries in 2015, up from 47 in 2014: those from European countries remained predominant (60% of all foreign investment decisions), followed by North America (22%) and Asia (13%), in very similar proportions to 2014. The leading source countries were the United States (18%), responsible for one-quarter of all inward R&D investments, Germany (15%), accounting for 26% of all foreign production/manufacturing projects, Italy (9%), providing 31% of inward investment in logistics, the United Kingdom (8%), responsible for 22% of all foreign investment in retail outlets, and Japan (6%), the fourth leading source of foreign production/manufacturing investment. BRIC nations (Brazil, Russia, India, China) represented 7% of inward investments in France (68 investment decisions), including 44 projects from China and Hong Kong. Project numbers were up for many source countries, including Canada (38 projects, +31%), the Netherlands (37 projects, +12%), and Ireland (15 projects, +114%).

France’s thriving regions and cities are often a decisive factor in attracting foreign investment to all of France’s regional economies. Ile de France (Paris region), Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes and Alsace-Champagne-Ardenne-Lorraine attracted more than half of all foreign investment decisions. The leading regions by jobs created or maintained were Ile de France (Paris region), Nord-Pas de Calais-Picardie, Alsace-Champagne-Ardenne-Lorraine, and Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes.

Although British projects are spread throughout France, almost two thirds are located in Ile de France (36%), Nord Pas de Calais-Picardie (14%) and Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes.

Analysis by business activity shows that Ile de France (Paris region) attracted 64% of all foreign investments involving decision-making centers (mostly first-time investments in France). Alsace-Champagne-Ardenne-Lorraine (20%) and Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes (17%) stood out in attracting production/manufacturing projects, as did Ile de France (Paris region) (31%) and Languedoc-Roussillon-Midi-Pyrénées (13%) for R&D projects.

Foreign companies currently generate 32% of French exports. Figures from the French National Institute for Statistics and Economic Studies (INSEE) show that more than one-quarter of foreign-owned company turnover in France was generated through exports in 2015, compared with 31% in the United States, 21% in Germany, 25% in the Netherlands, 15% in the United Kingdom, and 30% in Japan.

“Foreign investment decisions generated 33,682 jobs in France in 2015, up 27% from 2014, amid fierce international competition to attract investment projects and the employment opportunities they entail. Working alongside its regional partners, Business France has redoubled its efforts to convince foreign investors that France should be a key business location for their projects in Europe, attracting 54% or 522 of the 962 investments recorded this year nationwide,” said Muriel Pénicaud, France’s Ambassador for International Investment and CEO of Business France.

Download the full Business France report here

Published on 05/07/2016

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