France’s investment attractiveness holds firm in 2013. GCC projects rose from 2012 by 100 %

4195The “2013 Report: Job-creating foreign investment in France” provides an analysis of the source, nature and breakdown of foreign job-creating investments in France, as recorded by the Invest in France Agency (IFA) and its regional partners. In 2013, job-creating foreign investment maintained its upward trend, with a stronger contribution to employment than in 2012: France attracted 685 new projects, compared with 693 in 2012. These investment decisions enabled 29,631 jobs to be created or retained, up from 25,908 in 2012. The results, announced by President Hollande on February 17th in Paris at a Strategic Attractiveness Council meeting attended by around 35 foreign business leaders, highlight the resilience of France’s investment attractiveness in 2013 amid slow economic growth in Europe.

The United States remained the leading source country, despite the number of investment decisions falling from 156 in 2012 to 122 in 2013, accounting for 18% of all foreign investments. Europe was responsible for 61% of new projects, compared with 58% the previous year. Germany was again the leading European investor and second overall after the United States, with 106 projects. Italy remained the second ranked European country, with 64 investment decisions. Several European source countries saw their results increase significantly, most notably the United Kingdom, Belgium, the Netherlands, Sweden and Austria. The proportion of projects from emerging economies continued to grow, accounting for 11% of all foreign investments, with 44 countries in all investing in France, up from 39 in 2012. China remained the eighth largest investor overall, with 33 projects, preceded by Japan with 35.

France continued to attract investments from GCC with 13 investment projects in 2013, enabling 514 jobs to be created or retained. Saudi Arabia and the UAE remained the leading source country in GCC, with 8 projects. Other GCC countries recorded rises, including Qatar and Bahrain. Investment projects from GCC are mainly related to production activities (chemical industry, plastics, aeronautics) and decision centers (primo-implantation). The structure of investment projects has increased added value with the establishment of 2 R&D centers.

The number of foreign investment projects in R&D, engineering and design operations rose sharply from 58 in 2012 to reach an all-time high of 77 investment decisions in 2013. There was a 13% increase in R&D projects (51), with the leading investors hailing from the United States, Germany and Japan, accounting for 30%, 13% and 9%, respectively, of foreign R&D investment. The digital sector, which spurs innovation across all industries, was the leading recipient of foreign investment in France, as it has been since 2011.

The number of investments in production/manufacturing activities, which had been falling since 2010, rose again in 2013 to 209 decisions, compared with 194 in 2012. These projects accounted for 11,829 jobs, or 40% of jobs generated by foreign investment. Germany was the leading foreign investor in this area with 41 projects, accounting for 20% of all production/manufacturing investments. There was a considerable increase in takeovers of ailing sites, with 65 such projects compared with 29 in 2012, leading to a 50% rise in the number of jobs maintained.

“We are very pleased to see France break a new record in 2013 for the number of GCC investment decisions, especially in manufacturing activities and R&D operations, which have doubled from 2012 to 2013. This outstanding result confirms the quality of France’s innovation ecosystem, all thanks to the creativity of France’s talented individuals and the government’s bold policies that are appreciated by foreign investors”, commented Mr. Salim Saïfi, chief representative of Invest in France Agency in the Middle East.

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