Investors trust France as a place to set up business

Discover the Annual Report 2020 Foreign Investment in France by Business France


France attracted 1,215 new foreign investment decisions in 2020, a -17% decline on 2019, versus -33% worldwide. If the crisis interrupted the positive momentum of 2019, it hasn’t challenged the attractiveness of France as an investment location.

Jobs created or maintained by foreign subsidiary investments were also down by 13% since last year. The shock was nevertheless softer on the creation of employment, as with 34,567 jobs, 2020 was the second-best year in the last decade.

With the health crisis, the uncertainty is palpable, however, there is renewed confidence in France as an investment location, with 90% of the executives of foreign businesses set up in France drawing a positive impression of their investment in France, according to the Business France/Kantar survey on France’s attractiveness.

Moreover, nearly nine in 10 chief executives (85%) believe that France is an attractive foreign investment destination. 

Strategic sectors making clear progress

Healthcare projects recorded an increase of 40%. Strengthened by investment in renewable energies, the number of projects in the energy sector was up 13% and the number of jobs generated virtually doubled.

Middle Eastern Businesses in France

Around 650 subsidiaries of Middle Eastern businesses are already established in France, where they employ 36,000 people. Six new job-creating investment decisions in France from Middle Eastern countries were recorded in 2020, creating or maintaining 315 jobs, 50% more than in 2019 and a return to job levels seen in 2018.

Among the six projects recorded by the area, half of them concerned manufacturing, two were in decision making centers and one was in R&D/ engineering.

The two leading sectors served by investments from Middle Eastern countries were textiles/accessories and IT services (two projects each). Jobs created or maintained in pharmaceuticals/biotechnologies amounted to 15% of jobs recorded in this sector in France, making Middle Eastern countries the third largest contributor to employment in this sector in 2020.

Measures in the “Relaunch France” plan deemed relevant to support FDI and France’s attractiveness

The “National Investment Program” of €11 billion by 2022 to support innovation and investment in technologies of the future, and the reduction of production taxes are the two most relevant measures in the eyes of the executives of foreign businesses established in France.

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Investment from the Middle East: