France remains the third-largest destination for inward foreign direct investment, according to the annual Ernst&Young survey on the attractiveness of Europe. For Arnaud Montebourg, Minister of the Economy, Production Recovery and the Digital Sector, these results can be attributed to the "vigorous action" taken by the government in the last two years.
France strengthened its position as the leading destination for inward foreign direct investment in Europe in the industrial sector, with 166 projects in 2013. With 514 new business sites or extensions to existing business sites in 2013 France was third in Europe, after the United Kingdom and Germany. As a result of the 9.1% increase in international business sites in France, France saw its levels of foreign direct investment recover to its levels for 2010. Moreover, 34% of foreign investors plan to set up or develop their activities in France, a show of their confidence in the future of the country and in its future attractiveness.
A road map and a priority: To attract investment from emerging markets
To increase competitiveness, to preserve and increase the attractiveness of France, and to create employment: these were the elements of the road map chosen by the President of the Republic and by the Government at the Strategic Council for Attractiveness of 17 February.
In an interview with daily newspaper Metronews, Arnaud Montebourg emphasised that France’s main assets are the quality and productivity of its labour force and innovation, with more than 6.5 billion euros given in research tax credits per year. These qualities have also been highlighted in the Ernst&Young survey.
He also said that "the battle for attractiveness is with emerging markets: Brazil, South America as a whole, countries on the Arab Peninsula, India, Algeria".
"We have formed a successful alliance with Chinese firm Dongfeng for PSA. We are in the process of changing the geographic field of attractiveness", explained the Minister of the Economy.
When asked about negotiations for a trans-Atlantic free trade agreement currently in progress between the United States and the European Union, Arnaud Montebourg declared that it was "essential that governments make their voices heard". "France has indicated a number of red lines, and that if these lines are crossed the Government will oppose any form of ratification", explained the Minister of the Economy.