With the Global Crisis being Experienced, France does not lose Sight of Success
Record High Investments and Jobs Generated in 2019’s annual Foreign Invest in France Report
International investment in France last year reached a record high thanks to an annual investment increase of
11 percent and nearly 40,000 jobs being created or maintained.
France was the leading European destination for industrial investment projects whereby production and manufacturing activities are the leading contributors to employment.
Prior to the crisis, France boasted a number of key strengths including growth which was above the eurozone average, more than 500,000 jobs had been created in two years, and business investment was at an all-time high and acted quickly and decisively to safeguard these key strengths.
France then attracted 19% of investment projects in the European market. Foreign investment in Europe was mainly focused on business services (42%) and industry (23%); being the leading European destination for industrial investment projects, home to 26% of manufacturing investments. France was also the leading European destination for R&D investment.
In this changing environment, the French economy’s resilience and the “pro-business” reforms that have been undertaken by the French government have strengthened foreign investors’ confidence. However, the outstanding results from the 2019 Annual Report on Foreign Investment have been published in 2020 in unprecedented circumstances, with the global economy now facing the most serious health, social, economic and financial crisis of recent decades.
In 2019, 8 new job-creating investment decisions were made in France by companies from countries in the Middle East region, creating or maintaining more than 200 jobs. These investments came from the United Arab Emirates (4 projects), Kuwait (2), Saudi Arabia (1) and Lebanon (1). Most of these projects involved production/manufacturing facilities (5 projects; 84 jobs) and logistics (2 projects; 110 jobs). Investments by Middle East countries were made in a variety of different sectors, with 2 projects in the transport/storage sector responsible for more than half of the jobs generated by Middle Eastern investment.
Projects from the region:
DP World has invested in Le Havre (Normandie region) in the construction and operation of a container terminal through a joint venture with the transport company CMA CGM. This €154 million investment, nearly half of which comes from the investor and the Normandie region, will generate 200 jobs.
Sahul Group has set up a high-end mobile phone manufacturing site. The initial investment will be approximately €35 million and should generate around thirty jobs.
In partnership with the IFP New Energies group, the Saudi company Aramco is investing €2 million in the creation of an R&D center to strengthen Saudi technological capacities in the petroleum and petrochemical sectors. This €2 million investment will create 10 jobs, with roles comprising mainly engineers and researchers.
The Kuwaiti leader in logistics, Agility is creating a 26,000 sq. m. multimodal platform in Blotzheim (Grand Est region). This €5 million investment will create 10 jobs in 2020 in addition to the 20 roles that already exist.
The substantial and immediate support measures of the French Government helped cushion the shock of the crisis. They were effective, ranging from short-time working, which protected more than 12 million workers, loans guaranteed by the state, which enabled businesses to avoid bankruptcy due to cashflow problems and help for nearly 2 million businesses from the solidarity fund.
“We have protected the economy; we must now support its recovery. It will be slow and gradual, and it will be particularly difficult for sectors that have been severely weakened by the health crisis, such as tourism, aeronautics, and the automobile. We will protect, support, and revive soon. In the coming years, France will continue to encourage investments by foreign companies in all regions so that they can create value, jobs, develop talent and participate in the construction of this new French economy while benefiting investors”, remarked Frederic Szabo, Managing Director, Business France Middle East.
What makes France a leader of European and global innovation?
France has a long tradition of avant-garde and innovative thinking. With high quality international education system and research-oriented programs, France is a fertile ground for break-through projects and creative businesses. Especially since the road towards innovation is strengthened by proactive public support.
Innovation and R&D have always been a core pillar to French development. In 2017, to promote French competitiveness and help designing our future, President Macron announced a dedicated fund of 13 billion euros: 3,5 billion to sustain scientific excellency, 4,6 billion to support corporate innovation, and 5 billion to help transform and modernize French industry. Other 9 billion euros will also be dedicated to the development of the digital State, reinforcing France’s role model for innovation.
France also holds a leadership position in the thriving sectors of Fintech, Cleantech and Smart Mobility, and is taking the path of the AI revolution. In 2018, the government will continue supporting its 70+ innovation clusters and 1 100+ research institutions to build the world of tomorrow.