France has recorded a record number of foreign investment projects in 2021, state-run Business France reported on Sunday, highlighting the country’s attractiveness in the weeks leading up to the presidential election. During his five-year term, Emmanuel Macron regularly hosted foreign bosses at “Choose France” summits to promote France’s appeal as a place, highlighting pre-2020 labor market reforms and corporate tax cuts, and more recently, France. Relance and France 2030 are planning to reindustrialize the area and promote innovation.
Business takeover by foreign investors
After suffering a recession in 2020 due to the pandemic, foreign investment projects rebounded in 2021 above the level of 2019, which has already been a record year, according to the results of Business France, which is in charge of promoting France website abroad. A total of 1,607 new, acquired or expanded sites created or retained approximately 45,000 jobs. Among them are 460 industrial projects, which account for 34% of the created jobs.
“We have an increase in both the number of projects and the number of jobs by 50% in five years,” said Business France CEO Christophe Lecourtier in an interview with AFP. He clarified that the saved jobs are related to the takeover of existing companies by foreign investors.
“The thermometer of good economic health of the country”
“Attractiveness is the thermometer of a country’s good economic health,” Foreign Trade and Attractiveness Minister Frank Riester told Echoes. Faced with a record trade deficit recorded by France in 2021, the latter sees increased foreign investment as a “reason for hope” to “recover positions in exports and national production of goods that are imported today.”
In 2021, Germany was the first foreign investor in France in terms of number of projects, with 297 projects or 18% of the total, as well as 18% of jobs created, ahead of the US with 247 projects, but they exceed them. jobs, with over 10,000 jobs, or 22% of the total. Despite Brexit, the UK is in third place with 151 projects or 9% of the total projects and jobs. In fourth place is Belgium and in fifth is the Netherlands, so that Europeans are generally considered the first foreign investors in France.
France, the first destination for foreign investors in Europe
The classification established by Business France does not take into account the amounts invested, since projects are carried out for a more or less long time, said Christophe Lecourtier. “We are defending our yellow jersey well,” he said, citing a barometer released annually by EY, which has ranked France number one for foreign investment in Europe for 2019 and 2020 and is due to publish its next ranking in May. . or June.
Christophe Lecourtier stressed that a large number of projects were related to the development areas identified in the France Relance and France 2030 plans, which focused on industry in general, healthcare, electric vehicles, renewable energy.” Thus, more than 300 foreign companies are among the winners of the France Relance competition for projects with at least 4,000 jobs at stake.
Most site extensions for industrial projects
In January, Emmanuel Macron, for his part, announced 21 foreign investments worth four billion euros, which should create more than 10,000 jobs. While new establishments account for half (51%) of the projects listed by Business France in 2021, expansions “represent 44% of projects and almost half of jobs”, according to the agency, which sees it as “a sign of renewed confidence from foreign companies that have already invested in France.”
In terms of industrial projects, expansions of existing sites account for the majority, 83% of the total. “We are seeing strong growth in industrial projects,” with German companies heavily represented, while US investment is more likely to be in more labor-intensive services such as Amazon warehouses, Christophe Lecourtier further notes.