France, with its rich history, cultural heritage, and strategic location in the heart of Europe, offers a multitude of advantages for foreign companies seeking to expand their operations. France has also witnessed a remarkable surge in its attractiveness for foreign companies in recent years. The country has embarked on an ambitious agenda to transform its business environment, foster innovation, and position itself as a global hub for entrepreneurship. We are going now to describe the key factors that make investing in France more attractive for foreign companies.

  1. Pro-Business Reforms: The government has implemented a series of pro-business reforms aimed at improving the ease of doing business in France. The “PACTE Law” (Plan d’Action pour la Croissance et la Transformation des Entreprises) and other initiatives have simplified some administrative procedures, enhanced labor market flexibility, and encouraged entrepreneurship. These reforms have created a more business-friendly environment, boosting investor confidence and attracting foreign companies.
  2. Economic Stability and Growth: Despite Covid-19’s pandemy, France’s economy has displayed resilience and growth in recent years, providing a stable foundation for foreign investments. Economic policies have focused on boosting attractiveness, attracting foreign capital, and fostering innovation. This approach has led to improved economic indicators, including increased GDP growth, declining unemployment rates, and rising business investments. The country’s commitment to maintaining economic stability and implementing structural reforms makes it an attractive destination for foreign companies, as it’s mentioned in the last EY survey on foreign direct investment in Europe.
  3. Innovation and Start-up Ecosystem: France has placed a strong emphasis on fostering innovation and supporting start-ups. Initiatives such as the French Tech Visa, Station F and numerous incubators and accelerators have nurtured a thriving entrepreneurial ecosystem. The government has prioritized investment in research and development, providing tax incentives and funding opportunities for innovation-driven companies. This focus on innovation and entrepreneurship has attracted foreign start-ups, tech giants, and venture capital firms to establish a presence in France. Viva Tech, Europe’s Biggest Startup and Tech Event accelerates innovation by connecting startups, tech leaders, major corporations and investors and is one of best examples of France’s tech leadership in Europe.
  4. Strategic Location and Market Access: Situated at the heart of Europe, France offers easy access to major markets across the continent. Its membership in the European Union provides businesses with a gateway to a single market of over 500 million consumers. France’s extensive transportation network, including high-speed rail connections, well-connected airports, and advanced logistics infrastructure, facilitates trade and distribution. Foreign companies investing in France can leverage its strategic location to expand their reach throughout Europe and beyond.
  5. Skilled Workforce and Talent Pool: France boasts a highly skilled and educated workforce, which is an invaluable asset for foreign companies. The country’s renowned universities, engineering schools, and research institutions produce a steady stream of talented professionals. Reforms in the education system have one main objective, aligning skills training with industry needs. Additionally, initiatives such as the French Tech Talents program attract international talent and foster collaboration between academia and industry. Paris Saclay Playground, a center for innovation and exchange located in the center of the most important French Cluster for higher education, scientific research and high-tech industrial development opened its doors in late summer 2021. This center has a unique offer of support and education for start-up in incubation provided by a consortium of 4 renowned and experienced player and is the beating heart of innovation and entrepreneurship in Paris-Saclay!
  6. Green Transition and Sustainability: France is committed to driving the green transition and embracing sustainable practices. The country has made significant investments in renewable energy, clean technologies, and sustainable infrastructure. This focus on sustainability aligns with the global shift towards a low-carbon economy and presents opportunities for foreign companies in areas such as renewable energy, circular economy, and eco-innovation. Recent investments in the battery industry in les “Hauts-de-France” region are the electric car industry’s answers to Silicon Valley and China’s dominance. With these investments such as Automotive Cells Company, a partnership between French energy giant TotalEnergies, Germany’s Mercedes-Benz and US-European automaker Stellantis, AESC-Envision a Sino-Japanese group one of Renault key partners, French startup Verkor, and Taiwanese ProLogium, business leaders hope to turn the “Hauts-de-France” region into “Battery Valley”
  7. Quality of Life and Cultural Heritage: France’s good quality of life, renowned cultural heritage, and diverse landscapes make it an attractive destination for both businesses and individuals. The country offers a high standard of healthcare, education, and social welfare systems. Its vibrant cities, picturesque countryside, and rich cultural scene provide a favorable living environment for foreign employees and their families.

By investing in France, foreign companies can tap into its vast potential, benefit from its dynamic business ecosystem, and enjoy the quality of life that the country offers. The sixth edition of the ‘Choose France’ summit further solidifies France’s position as a top destination for foreign investment, showcasing the government’s commitment to fostering a business-friendly environment and driving sustainable growth.

Pierre Maurin

Senior Partner