Why invest in France?

A country at the heart of the EU single market and a gateway to the EMEA.


A global economic power

France is the second largest economy in the European Union (IMF, 2014), the sixth largest exporter of goods and the fourth largest exporter of services. (WTO, 2013) Thirty-one French companies are among the world’s leading 500. (Fortune Global 500, 2014)

Competitive labor costs

Average costs per employee (wages, salaries and statutory costs) are lower in France than in Japan, the United States and Germany. Similarly, business setup and operating costs are lower in France than in Italy, Japan, the United States and Germany. (KPMG, Competitive Alternatives, 2014) “Hourly labor costs in France in industry have once again fallen below those in Germany” (Emmanuel Macron, November 17, 2014)

A highly qualified, highly productive workforce

France invests more in its education system (over 6% of GDP) than many other European countries, such as Germany, Italy and Spain. (OECD, Education at a Glance, 2014) France is ranked sixth in the world for hourly labor productivity, ahead of Germany (7th) and the United Kingdom (13th). (Conference Board, 2014)

Tax measures to foster competitiveness

The competitiveness and employment tax credit (CICE) is reducing labor costs by 6% in 2015, amounting to €20 billion in annual savings for companies. This tax credit is calculated in proportion to the company’s gross payroll costs, excluding all salaries greater than 2.5 times the national minimum wage (SMIC).

France’s research tax credit is the most attractive tax incentive program of its kind in Europe: a tax break amounting to 30% of annual R&D expenses, up to €100 million, and 5% above this threshold.

Renowned quality of life

France is the world’s leading destination for foreign tourists, ahead of the United States and China (UNWTO, 2014), and is ranked third in the world for having healthcare infrastructure that matches the needs of society. (IMD, 2014) France is ranked sixth in the world for life expectancy at birth (82.6 years) (World Bank, WDI, 2014) and boasts a wide array of cultural and creative excellence: the Louvre is by far the most visited museum in the world.

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published on 03/02/2015

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