Measuring the attractiveness and competitiveness of an economy cannot be achieved by looking at a single indicator, but rather by assessing all of their constituent parts

The French economy has a number of undisputed structural advantages, and these fundamental elements of its attractiveness to business have been consolidated by reforms underway to enhance competitiveness. Promoting France’s business image, companies, regions and the talent that they harbor requires us to look closely at how France performs internationally.

By compiling a vast array of economic data on outcome indicators and attractiveness criteria, without resorting to data-weighted aggregate indicators, the France Attractiveness Scoreboard seeks to make an objective analysis of France as an investment location. It enables us to measure how attractive France is using quantifiable economic indicators, and to shed light on the complexity of measuring an economy’s attractiveness, which depends on a considerable number of different criteria.

The White Paper on International Rankings highlights France’s comparative advantages, which too often remain unknown or even deliberately ignored, as well as the areas in which sustained, long-term efforts are required. This is a particularly important issue, as the comparisons drawn by international rankings sometimes present a distorted view of the economic realities in France, to the frequent surprise of many in the business world, who paint a much more nuanced picture. 

Finally, understanding digital issues and technological innovations has become key to preparing the economies and societies of the future. These trends represent a considerable challenge for companies, but also for countries seeking to set up flexible, innovative ecosystems conducive to startups and enterprise. The Tech Book seeks to examine France’s place in a competitive environment and to provide an overview of the French entrepreneurial ecosystem, encompassing both its strengths and weaknesses, in a bid to distinguish between apprehension, perception, and reality.

France’s performances under selected key indicators

Selecting the indicators proposed in the Simulator below to assess the attractiveness of our country compared with its main competitors.

    France Attractiveness Scoreboard: detailed comparisons of nearly 130 different indicators

    For the seventh consecutive year, Business France, in conjunction with the Treasury Directorate at the French Ministry for the Economy and Finance, and the French Commission for Regional Equality (CGET), is proud to present the France Attractiveness Scoreboard. Its twin aims are to assess and monitor France’s performances among a selection of OECD countries against various foreign investment attractiveness criteria, and to analyze France’s relative strengths for each factor influencing a firm’s choice of location. 


    1. In contrast to international rankings based on composite competitiveness indicators and opinion surveys that provide patchy analysis far removed from the reality observed by investors on the ground, the France Attractiveness Scoreboard provides comparative and objective analysis of the main criteria against which France’s investment attractiveness can be judged.
    2. It examines nine groups of economic attractiveness criteria (through a total of 126 different indicators), corresponding to those most commonly compared by business leaders: market size and strength; education and human capital; research and innovation; infrastructure; administrative and regulatory environment; financial environment; costs and taxation; quality of life; and green growth.


    To find out more, download:

    The France Attractiveness Scoreboard

    The Scoreboard press kit

    France’s performances in international rankings

    A growing number of international rankings compare the economic attractiveness, competitiveness, innovation and human capital performances of different countries. France’s position in standings such as these are often less impressive than its economic performances would suggest. Despite this paradox, rankings are often poured over by the media and impact negatively on how France is perceived as a business location.

    Consequently, the White Paper on International Rankings seeks to elucidate France’s performances in leading international comparisons, to put the results and conclusions into perspective by highlighting methodological bias, and to highlight the disparity between survey responses and realities in the French economy.

    The White Paper brings together around twenty summaries of some of the most prominent reports reviewed by international media, in three separate sections: competitiveness; economic attractiveness; and innovation & higher education. The publication sheds light on France’s strengths and weaknesses, while qualifying sometimes rather biased assessments, and providing an overview of some of the French government’s ongoing reforms. A separate supplement – the Tech Book – focuses on France’s entrepreneurial ecosystem to foster startups.

    Did you know?

    • France is ranked first for trading across borders, due to streamlined digitized customs procedures (World Bank, Doing Business, 2017).
    • Paris is ranked joint first in Europe (with London) for the number of Fortune Global 500 headquarters (PwC, Cities of Opportunity, 2016).
    • France is ranked first in Europe for organizations whose active patenting policies put them at the heart of innovation (Clarivate Analytics, Top 100 Global Innovators, 2016).
    • Paris is ranked first in the world for labor cost and quality, with 81% of startup founders holding a master’s degree or doctorate (Startup Genome, Global Startup Ecosystem Report, 2017).

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