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EY European Attractiveness Survey 2023: France remains top destination in 2023

16 mai 2023 コミュニティー
Vue 87 回

France is the most attractive country in Europe in 2022

“In a context of geopolitical, economic and social turmoil, France even widened the gap with its two traditional competitors, the UK and Germany”. This is how EY began its press release about its survey crowning France as most attractive country in Europe in 2022.

In detail, with 1,259 implementations or extensions announced in 2022, i.e. +3% compared with 2021, France keeps the lead of the European ranking for the fourth consecutive year. For EY, this performance “confirms the momentum accelerated in 2017, despite the economic turmoil due to the geopolitical crisis”. According to EY, “the desire to invest in France is still strong”: 61% of companies surveyed have immediate investment projects in France in 2023. The “economic, social and energy situation” of France is closely analysed by all decisionmakers, “but it should change results in the short term”

Historical record

This historical record is “must be taken seriously considering the weight of business with foreign capital in the French economy”. Indeed, the 16,800 businesses (1% of the total) “employ 2.2 million people (13% of contract work) and contribute up to 20% of the GDP, 25% of private R&D and 35% of industrial exports”, says EY. France widens the gap with its two traditional competitors, the UK (929 projects, -6%) and Germany (832 projects, -1%).

But the consultancy sees two clouds in the blue sky, though: the number of jobs created in France by foreign investors dropped by 15% in 2022 and the number of companies already implemented overpasses new implementations (65% of projects announced in France in 2022 are extensions of existing sites, vs 35% in Germany and 30% in the UK). 

Industry, the engine of attractiveness

In terms of the most attractive sectors, EY notes that it is industry that has once again become a driving force behind France’s attractiveness. Indeed, 4 out of 10 projects in 2022 correspond to the implementation or extension of a factory. The availability of low-carbon energy is thus, “despite the current energy crisis, France’s main asset” according to industrial leaders and the projects identified by EY in 2022.

Another encouraging sector is the field of Research and Development which, thanks to the French Tech programme and public support for innovation, makes France the “European champion for R&D centres” (144 projects hosted in 2022). Conversely, according to EY, France “absolutely must do better in terms of decision-making centres, as it is still lagging behind the United Kingdom, which will have established 133 headquarters in 2022, compared to 78 in France”. Similarly, France “is experiencing a sharp decline in investment in logistics platforms” (-21%). This means that, despite the many “simplification shocks”, EY believes that France “is still paying for the lack of land and the cumbersome administrative procedures that many companies have to deal with”. 

An upturn for all French regions

All French regions are benefiting from this ranking. The Ile-de-France region remains in the lead (326 projects in 2022), taking the lead in the ranking of the most attractive European regions ahead of Greater London (299 projects in 2022), for the first time in the history of the EY survey.
However, the capital region is followed by three additional regions exceeding the 100 implementation projects mark: Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, Hauts-de-France and Nouvelle-Aquitaine. As EY points out, “almost one project in two affects rural areas or medium-sized towns recording less than 200,000 inhabitants”. And EY concludes that “it is an opportunity for France that its attractiveness is expressed in all of its territories, both in Ile-de-France and in the regions, in its major metropolises as well as in its territories that are farthest from the major conurbations”!

The Choose France Summit: the annual event of attractiveness

Created by French President Macron, the Choose France Summit has become the dedicated event for attractiveness in France. 

It aims at “presenting and explaining to major international companies the reforms carried out to promote business” in France. It is also an opportunity to “highlight the importance of international investment in supporting growth, innovation and employment throughout France”.

The sixth edition of the Choose France summit takes place on Monday 15 May at the Château de Versailles. For this annual event, more than 200 major foreign group leaders have confirmed their presence and hundreds of meeting sessions for business leaders, members of the Government and State agencies dedicated to attractiveness are already scheduled.


The EY firm, known as Ernst & Young and Associates, is a financial audit and consulting firm that provides various services, including this type of national and international barometer. The survey about France’s attractiveness is based on a dual approach: a survey of 204 international decisionmakers (questioned online from 15 February to 15 March 2023 on their perceptions and expectations in terms of attractiveness) and a census of foreign investment projects announced in 2022 in France and Europe.


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