Business France today publishes its “Annual Report 2021: Foreign investment in France”. With 1,607 new foreign investment decisions creating or maintaining 45,008 jobs, France saw its attractiveness reach an all-time high in 2021.
These results were record-breaking (+32% in the number of projects and +30% in the number of jobs) and surpassed those seen in 2019. They hereby prove that the Covid-19 health crisis has in no way had a negative impact on foreign investors’ confidence in France.
While some sixty countries invested in France last year, 2021 was also marked by a significant strengthening of France’s attractiveness in the eyes of European entrepreneurs, who were responsible for two-thirds of projects. Germany, with nearly 300 projects and more than 8,000 jobs created or maintained, became the leading investor country in France in 2021. In terms of investments, Germany overtook the United States, which had 247 projects, but the United States remained top in terms of jobs (more than 10,000). The United Kingdom completed the podium of investor countries in France.
France’s increased attractiveness was seen particularly in industry. Manufacturing projects were, in fact, up sharply in 2021 (+49%), accounting for 29% of investments and 36% of jobs generated. These 460 projects reflected the accelerated reindustrialization of France in 2021.Business creations once again accounted for the lion’s share of investment decisions in France and illustrated France’s growing attractiveness to foreign investors. Furthermore, expansions accounted for 44% of projects and nearly half of jobs, reflecting the renewed confidence held by foreign businesses that have already invested in France.Another strong sign of France’s attractiveness was the number of foreign investment projects benefiting the whole country. While the large regional cities accounted for a significant share of the projects – Greater Paris (20% of projects), the Lyon Metropolis (5%), and the Toulouse Metropolis, the Aix-Marseille-Provence Metropolis and the Lille European Metropolis all 3% each) – smaller urban areas attracted a substantial share of investment projects, as 43% of investments in 2021 were located in agglomerations with fewer than 200,000 inhabitants.Finally, France’s attractiveness was not concentrated to a handful of sectors; in fact, it spanned a large number of areas, reflecting the wealth of French expertise. France’s multisectoral attractiveness also extended to a number of strategic sectors. Manufacturing investments supported the (re)location of manufacturing activities in critical sectors (healthcare, electronics, agri-food, industrial inputs and 5G industrial applications) and it even accelerated the digital and ecological transitions.
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