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EY Attractiveness Survey: France is still the champion of Europe!

07 maj 2024 Forretninger
Overblik 334 gange

With 1,194 investment projects registered in 2023, which should generate or maintain about 40,000 jobs, France keeps its title of champion of Europe for attractiveness for the fifth consecutive year. This is the conclusion of EY (Ernst & Young Global Limited), an established financial audit and consulting firm, which published its fifth annual survey focused on foreign investment projects in Europe and analysed how decisionmakers see France.

France’s attractiveness survey, which relies both on a survey to international decision makers and the listing of foreign investment projects in France and Europe, registers this year some sort of stalling, “easily explained” by “geopolitical disturbances”, including with the war between Russia and Ukraine, the “inflationist trends” and “multiple ongoing shifts”. And in spite of the “difficult domestic and international backdrop” described by EY, France draws advantage from a “triple effect” impact once again: some reforms were completed, investments which were not accomplished for decades were accomplished and European competitors faced even more complex situations.

 

Champion of industrial investments and innovation

With the United Kingdom (with 985 projects) and Germany (733) in its wake, France is the destination for 21% of foreign investments in Europe in 2023, vs 18.7% in 2019. As Business France, the national agency in charge of attractiveness, comments: France receives “a more significant share of foreign direct investments than in 2019”.

In detail, France stays the most attractive country for industrial investments in Europe. With 530 projects registered, France keeps “the same leading position it has been holding for more than 20 years”, according to Business France. France is also the 1st European hub in number of factories created or extended and for the number of jobs generated in production sites. And France keeps its title of “champion of innovation in Europe” thanks to 123 projects registered in 2023 in R&D. According to Business France, it’s worth mentioning that France is the first destination in Europe “for foreign investment in artificial intelligence with 17 projects registered in 2023”, just before the United Kingdom (12 projects) and Germany (9 projects).

On the implementation side, five French regions, Île-de-France, Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, Grand Est, Hauts de France and Occitanie, are in the top 15 of most attractive regions in Europe in number of foreign investment projects. For Business France, this implementation “shows the capacity of local communities to attract foreign investors and not only in major urban hubs”.

 

Increased confidence

Beyond figures, the perception survey by EY shows that 76% of leaders surveyeddeclare being more confident about the capacity of France to maintain or increase its attractiveness” (53% in 2023). According to EY, investors “surveyed outside of France or who are not on French territory yet” are the most optimistic regarding France. They even underline the “specific paradox of a country that doubts itself in the interior but is attractive on the exterior”!

According to Business France, this clear increase “shows an outstanding change in the general perception of France as destination for investment and economic development”. An aspect seems particularly positive: the “historical bases of the country”, i.e. the skills and infrastructures creating the “base of French attractiveness in the eyes of international leaders”. EY sees in this that “stability pays” since “the legal and regulatory environment is not considered as a critical hindrance anymore”, even though some comments about “the French administration and standards complexity” still exist.

 

In the perspective of the Choose France Summit

The EY barometer has been published just a few days before the Choose France international summit that will be held on 13 May in Versailles, an annual summit attended by many international business leaders.

Choosing France is betting on boldness, innovation, the love of gestures and know-how”. This is the motto of organisers for whom France is “a land of boldness and excellence, committed in a deep transformation of its industry, for the world of tomorrow”. This is what this summit should prove, a “place of special meetings between foreign investors and the French executive body”. It helps bring value to “all French territories and assets for business leaders and foreign partners”. Every year, the summit is also the perfect place for important announcements “to build or extend projects”. And thus, for announcing international investments!

 

Explore more: 

- The EY survey

- Press release from Business France

- Choose France Summit




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