Good news! France still attracts foreign investors.
Its industrial appeal even places it at the top of European countries, revealed on Monday a survey by the EY firm, even if optimism about its future is less important than last year. With 339 projects identified in 2018 (compared to 323 in 2017), France remains the European country that attracts the most foreign investment in the establishment or extension of industrial sites. Next come Turkey (203 projects, +2) and Germany (152 projects, – 11). At the same time, the United Kingdom recorded a 35% drop in the number of projects on its soil (140 in 2018 against 216 in 2017), “due to the unknown Brexit,” notes the study. The United Kingdom thus fell from 2nd to 4th place on this list.
It is “not an accident” “The tricolor performance is not an accident”, underlines the study, which underlines that “since 2016, France widens the gap with its German and British competitors in the race for investments foreign industrialists ”. Between 2014 and 2018, foreign direct investment (FDI) in France increased by 47% against an increase of 7% in Germany. In the United Kingdom, the decline has been constant since 2017 (- 15%) . The study shows that certain French industrial export sectors (aeronautics and space construction, shipbuilding, pharmacy) attract subcontractors and partners, including “a large number of companies with foreign capital [who] come to produce in France” and enter the supply chains of groups such as Airbus, EDF, Danone or Sanofi. The future in question For the investors questioned as part of the study, French growth will be driven by sectors such as digital (31% of responses), energy (28%), green technologies (21% ) and business services (also 21%).
In this context, the perception of French industry by foreign entrepreneurs remained largely favorable, but with a decline: 70% said they were optimistic in 2019 as for the future of French industry against 77% in 2018. Fiscal stability is considered “critical” by 41% of companies in their investment choices in Europe, and 52% classify it as an “important” factor. “Because companies are looking for stability and predictability, France must confirm its fairly recent commitments in this area,” note the authors of the study. The “industrial attractiveness barometer” is based in particular on the opinion survey carried out in January 2019 by the CSA institute with 210 leaders representative of foreign investors in France and in Europe, and on the analysis of locations and industrial extensions of foreign companies in France.