France showed once again in 2014 that it is one of the most attractive investment locations in Europe, prompting 1,014 investment decisions from foreign businesses (including 740 on a like-for-like basis). After three years of stability, the number of job creating foreign investments, as recorded by the ‘Investment’ arm of Business France and its regional economic development partners, rose 8% in 2014. France continues to attract investments in so-called strategic activities: 30% of the investments received in the last year were made in production/manufacturing and 9% in R&D, engineering and design.

The gentle downward trend, observed in leading western European countries for a number of years, in the number of jobs generated (more than 26,000 jobs were created or maintained in 2014) continued, and may be explained by the rise in the number of projects in high value-added activities that have a smaller direct impact on employment in the short-term. Nevertheless, these very well-qualified positions play a key role in generating spin-off jobs and growth throughout France’s regions.