The 2019 Scoreboard assesses France’s overall attractiveness. The tenth edition of this Business France publication, in partnership with the French Treasury Directorate, serves as a support tool for decision-makers by presenting both France’s key strengths and areas in which it can improve.

France is the leading European host country for investment in production/manufacturing and R&D. The world’s sixth largest economy, France is open to foreign capital and talent. It benefits from important structural advantages that facilitate its international performance: its location, commercial strength, human capital, dynamic demographic structure, the quality and efficiency of its transport and telecommunications infrastructure, the quality of its workforce and overall quality of life.

A high business start-up rate, especially in industry

France is a nation of entrepreneurs. The number of net enterprise creations in French manufacturing industry increased by 3.1% in 2017, equivalent to 7,999 new businesses. This rate of growth was higher than that of the United Kingdom (2.2%), the EU-28 (+0.9%) and Germany, which has experienced negative growth in enterprise creation for the last decade. 

The government’s action program has boosted the business start-up rate, thanks in particular to the R&D tax incentive. The PACTE Act should make the economy more dynamic and lead to business growth, while a reduction in the tax burden should improve productivity, and labor reforms should boost employment in the medium term.

Working towards a carbon-free economy

With the Climate Plan, France has set itself the goal of carbon neutrality by 2050. In the European Union, France stands out for its unique energy mix, which focuses on nuclear energy, a source that is reliable and does not emit greenhouse gases.

Green growth also brings both economic and job opportunities, especially with regard to green energy. In 2017, France was the third largest European employer in renewable energies, with 140,700 jobs.

The 2019 Scoreboard has been released just as the main details regarding the President’s Productivity Pact, announced back in April, are becoming clear

While revealing its aim to achieve a zero-carbon economy by 2050, France has reaffirmed its commitment to greater competitiveness. This desire manifests itself as greater cooperation with regional authorities in order to devise a future reduction in taxes on production / manufacturing. Along with more extensive fiscal measures, these regions will also be required to put in place real competitiveness strategies aimed at strengthening their regional attractiveness. The streamlining of tax procedures, coupled with better information on existing aid in France, will accompany and facilitate investment decision-making.

With the Productivity Pact, France seeks to have an economy based on disruptive technology. France, which aims to raise €20 billion from public and private fundraising within three years for the financing of innovative companies, has given itself the means to achieve this aim: notably, by strengthening links between public research and the high-tech industry, and support for sectors and technologies that have high job-creation potential in the short term and that will guarantee a strategic technological advance in the medium term.

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