France has not lost its appeal #FiersdelaFrance (#ProudofFrance)

Brain drain, relocation… There are numerous platitudes about France's supposed lack of attractiveness. And yet, France is one of the most attractive countries in the world. Here is the proof in 10 figures.

1. It is what most foreign investors think

Shaking hands75% of foreign investors find France attractive, according to a TNS Sofres-IFA survey (September 2016). This confidence is increasing: it was only 65% in 2014 and 53% in 2009. And 33% of investors plan to expand their business operations in France. Welcome!

2. It is the European champion for foreign investment in production

BuildingsFrance is the leading European recipient of foreign investment in industry, particularly in high value-added sectors: chemistry, medicines and applied biotechnology, and electronic components. In 2015, France was the world’s fifth largest economy by outward FDI stocks.

3. It is increasingly connected

BroadbandWith 40.4% of fixed broadband subscribers in 2015, France is number two in the ranking, ahead of the United Kingdom (37.9%) and Germany (37.6%). France will invest €20 billion over 10 years to roll superfast broadband out across the whole country through the superfast broadband plan for France (Plan France Très Haut Débit) launched in 2013.

4. It attracts advanced-level students

One people reading40% of students registered on advanced-level research programmes are foreign nationals. With more than 240,000 registered foreign students, France is the fourth-ranked global destination for international students. Did you say "brain drain"?

5. It empowers its companies to innovate

LightFrance knows how to motivate its troops: it still tops the rankings for business R&D tax incentives, including the research tax credit (Crédit d'Impôt Recherche, or CIR) and the "innovative start-up" (Jeune Entreprise Innovante) status. France was the third leading recipient in 2015 of R&D activities, with 11% of all foreign R&D projects recorded in Europe.

6. It is cutting the cost of labour

PurseFrance’s hourly labor costs across the whole economy increased slightly in 2015 by 1.2%, while greater increases were recorded in EU-28 countries as a whole (2.0%), as well as Germany (2.5%) and the United Kingdom (15.2%). In 2015, France’s cost competitiveness improved markedly, notably due to the cost savings passed on to businesses from the competitiveness and employment tax credit (CICE).

7. It is focusing on quality of life

HeartAccording to Business France data, France was ranked first among the sample countries for access to healthcare in 2014, ahead of the United Kingdom, Germany and the United States. At 31.9% of GDP in 2014, it also has the highest public expenditure on social protection. This is a strong indicator of the quality of the system. Culture, recreation, worship: France is the second largest per-capita contributor.

8. It is moving to green energy

Wind turbineFrance is the third-largest European producer of primary energy from renewable sources (10.7%) behind Germany (18.4%) but ahead of Sweden (8.5%). France is also the second leading hydro power producer in Europe.


9. Its attractiveness is creating jobs

People at workFrance likes foreign investment and foreign investors like France! After three years of stability, the amount of job-creating foreign investment leapt by 8% in 2014. In France, nearly 1 employee in 9 works in a subsidiary of a foreign group and 1 employee in 5 works in manufacturing.

10. It is connected to the world

PlaneIn terms of passenger transport, Roissy-Charles de Gaulle is the number two airport in Europe, behind London Heathrow. Both Paris airports are also in the European top 15. France has 41 airports that each record more than 150,000 passenger movements per year.

Source: Overview of France's appeal, 2016