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15 June

1. Foreign Investors magnet

If France loses its appeal these past years, it has particularly since the 2008 crisis. It remains an important target for implantation.

According to the annual survey by Ernst & Young, France was in 2012, the first rank of European industrial facilities, and 3rd in the overall ranking of attractiveness, behind the United Kingdom and Germany. One of the main investors in France was none other than the United States, which represents 30% of projects and 40% of jobs created by foreign firms almost doubled in one year.

We can cite other rankings: France was in 2011 the second home of research and development (R & D) in Europe after the UK countries and concentrated 16% of foreign R & D, followed by Germany or Spain.

2. France grant importance to foreign investments

Folded on itself, France? End of 2012, France was ranked 4th in the world in terms of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) stocks according to the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), the United Nations (UN) organization responsible for development issues. Regarding the Investment flows, there are ranked for the same period 11th worldwide and 3rd in Europe. According to the Treasury Department, the French foreign subsidiaries create together a turnover of almost € 1000 billion and employ nearly 5 million people.

3. A cradle of Innovation, Implantation & Start up

Not less than 90 French companies appear to be in the 2013 Palmares Consulting room of Deloitte 500 fastest growth Start up in Europe, Africa, and Middle East including the first place. Five French companies are in the top 30. France is also the 7th European countries most favorable to the development of start-up, followed by Germany, according to the Financial Times ranking, less suspected of Francophile.

In addition, 12 French companies appear in the Top 100 ranking innovative companies of Reuters, mainly because of significant aid for research and development.

4. A Famous students destination

Several rankings confirm the attractiveness exerted by France to foreign students, who praise the quality and affordable expenses of its formations.


France is the third destination attracting foreign students, behind the United States and the United Kingdom, according to a TNS Sofres survey commissioned by the State Campus France agency. The latest figures from Unesco on the ranking of attractiveness to foreign students do not say something else: in 2013, 288,544 international students chose France, 7% of total foreign mobile students worldwide, placing the Hexagon third among receiving countries, behind the United States and the United Kingdom.

5. Highly productive employees

The French have a reputation well-deserved to be among the most productive in the world, second only to the United States, despite an annual working hours among the lowest, at 1479 hours (source: OECD). In 2012, Eurostat statistics show that the productivity of the French labor per hour worked was 45.4 euros, against 42.6 euros for Germany, and 37.2 euros for the all countries in the euro zone.

6. A dynamic demography


Another significant advantage: the power of French birth. The fertility rate in 2012 was indeed 2.01 children per woman, the second highest in Europe after Ireland.

Unlike almost all developed countries, France has not recorded fertility decline with the economic crisis. In the United States, for example, the fertility rate fell from 2.12 children per woman in 2007 to 1.89 in 2011. In France, 792,000 children were born in 2012, against 793,000 in 2011.


Life expectancy at birth in France is among the best in the world. In 2011, it was 84 years for women and 78 years for men, against 80 and 75 in the United States and 78 and 83 years in Germany.

 7. A lifestyle recognised

French gastronomy is a key element of the influence of the country abroad, to the point it appears since 2010 in the Intangible Cultural Heritage of UNESCO. French Cuisine and French way of living are part of the features that make France the world's top tourist destination, as evidenced by the success of wine tourism (24 million tourists in wine regions in 2012). Food industries are the largest and first employer in France but also the first sector in terms of turnover and added value.

8. First tourist destination

There was, in 2012, 1.035 billion international tourists, according to the World Tourism Organization. Among them, 83 million went to France, making it the world's top tourist destination, far ahead of the United States (67 million arrivals) and China (a little less than 58 million).

In terms of takings, France moved up to third place, behind the United States and Spain. The tourism industry generated in France in 2012, 53.7 billion euros in takings, a slight decrease from the previous year, according to the World Tourism Organization. And also the dynamism of the luxury sector (which in 2012 represented a global turnover of around €210 billion, a quarter of which comes from the French industries), the importance of the Francophonie, the 11 million kilometers square waters that make France the second world maritime power, or the health system , ranked among the best in the world by the World health Organisation Not to mention that France is leading European countries in the Fortune Global 500, which lists the world's largest companies , with 35 companies, against 34 for Germany, 68 for Japan and 133 for the United States.

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