Foreign investors’ actions speak volumes: France is an attractive, creative and innovative economy. 

In 2016, it stood out as one of the leading countries in Europe, attracting 1,117 new job-creating foreign investment decisions – up 16% from the previous year – that created or maintained 30,108 jobs.

On average, 21 new investment projects were confirmed by foreign investors every week.

France is a creative, innovative country, with a resolutely global outlook, and a preferred location for foreign investment in Europe. Among the investments in 2016 that reflect this are those by AstraZeneca (pharmaceuticals and biotechnologies); Iris Ohyama (furnishings, household goods); United Parcel Service, Inc. (transport, storage) ; Tiernahrung Deuerer GmbH (agri-food, agriculture); Nokia OY (Consumer electronics).

Key to this success were France’s numerous fundamental strengths: its central location, excellent communication and transport infrastructure, industrial prowess in a wide range of sectors, high productivity, and a well-qualified workforce.

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Success stories:

Foreign investment key figures 2016

Export key figures 2016

Visit our interactive website to visualize all the key data.

You can also download the “Invest in France” application and pinpoint where foreign companies chose to invest in France, filtering by source country, business sector and host region.

The open nature of the French economy

In recent years, France has made considerable efforts to attract greater numbers of foreign investors, who stand to benefit from its multiple key advantages as a business location. France has greatly simplified procedures and formalities for incoming talent and foreign investors.

More than 30,000 French companies have established themselves in foreign countries, while more than 20,000 foreign companies have made job-creating investments in France.

In 2015, France was Europe’s third leading recipient of job-creating foreign investment, and was also the leading destination by project numbers of job-creating investment in industry and logistics. (EY, 2016)


As regards inward FDI stock, France is ranked seventh in the world and third in Europe, having accumulated US$772 billion by 2015, after the United States (US$5,588 billion), China and Hong Kong (US$2,793.5 billion), the United Kingdom (US$1,457.5 billion), Germany (US$1,121.3 billion), Singapore (US$978.4 billion), and Switzerland (US$833 billion).

France is a preferred location for inward investment, ranking sixth in the world for FDI inflows in 2016.

45% of the equity of companies listed on the CAC 40 is owned by foreign investors (Banque de France, September 2016).

Twenty-nine of the world’s top 500 companies are French, while 20 are German and 25 are British. (Fortune Global 500, 2016)