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In 2023, France strengthened its economic attractiveness

In 2023, 1,815 investment decisions have been identified, representing, on average, 35 investment decisions per week last year in France. These results confirm that France has managed to maintain its economic attractiveness to international investors thanks to a vast program of reforms and a strategic investment plan, France 2030.

France, an attractive investment destination in Europe

On February 29, Business France published the “2023 Annual Report on Foreign Investment in France”, highlighting foreign investors’ confidence in France. The scope for counting projects has been expanded. Investments in decarbonisation, digitalisation, safeguarding and technological partnerships are now recorded in the Annual Report, even if they do not generate jobs. They contribute directly to strengthening France’s manufacturing base, modernising the sites of foreign investors and forming part of the “France 2030” attractiveness strategy. 

In 2023, France attracted 1,815 international investment decisions from 56 different countries. Once again, European countries were important investors, as 65% of investment came from Europe. The creation of new establishments accounted for 47% of investment projects, reflecting the interest accorded by foreign investors to France’s business environment and economic prospects. The expansions, which accounted for 45% of projects and 68% of jobs, demonstrate the satisfaction of investors, whose concrete experience led to numerous benefits. 

The consistency of the results is to be noted given the significant decline in foreign investment in European countries (-23% in the EU – excluding Luxembourg and the Netherlands, where financial flows were driven by a tax optimisation logic) reported by UNCTAD in January 2024. In 2023, France has been able to foster investors’ confidence and maintain its attractiveness despite a downward trend in investment.  

Investments creating jobs and value added in France’s regions 

These investment decisions will create or maintain 59,254 jobs over three years, including 11,446 interim permanent contracts. These numbers are up compared to 2022 and demonstrate France’s ability to make the most of the capital it receives by transforming it into tangible projects that benefit ecosystems and French territories. Nearly half of investment projects, 49%, were carried out in municipalities with fewer than 20,000 inhabitants. This number jumped to 73% for manufacturing projects. 

France 2030: a powerful tool serving the international attractiveness of France 

These results also embody the ambitions of a vast program of structural reforms implemented since 2017 by President Emmanuel Macron and his government, aiming to transform the economy and business activity and make the country more competitive. France 2030 investment plan with a €54 billion budget has set the guidelines for a clear ambition enabled by decarbonisation, innovation, industrialisation, and modernisation. The strength of this strategy lies in its ability to meet the challenges of tomorrow by initiating profound changes today while providing an opportunity for investors to get involved in strategic sectors (healthcare, energy, automobile, and aerospace) on a long-term basis. In 2023, 559 investment projects were aligned with priority sectors targeted by “France 2030”.

France has prioritised tackling global warming, focusing in particular on decarbonisation to achieve the ambitious 2030 targets. Once again, in 2023, foreign investors contributed significantly to this objective by bringing their expertise and creating value in France. 205 projects directly aiming to decarbonise the economy have been recorded, representing 11.3% of all projects.  

France’s 2030 strategy could only be achieved with two more essential ingredients: innovation and modernisation. France succeeded in forging lasting links with foreign investors based on a shared culture of innovation in the form of 170 R&D projects announced in 2023. Indeed, these projects will help shape future sectors, with 59% of R&D projects targeting France 2030’s strategic sectors. 

France is not resting on its laurels and is firmly committed to new reforms to maintain its position at both a global and European level. It continues its efforts to modernise and innovate. Accordingly, Business France will continue to provide high-quality support to foreign investors through its network of offices worldwide. 

Stay tuned as more details on Nordics investments in France in 2023, as well as the full report, will be available in May.