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New Study Salutes France as Leading Destination for Foreign Investment
added: 2010-08-03

In a world struggling to climb out of the global recession, France remains a strong leader in foreign direct investment, according to a new report released this month from the Invest in France Agency (IFA). The report, entitled, "2010 France Attractiveness Scoreboard," compares France among 11 different developed nations, including the United States. In 2009, France ranked third worldwide in FDI inflow ($60 billion), after the United States ($136 billion) and China ($90 billion).

The study was also supported by the French Ministry for the Economy and the French Strategic Analysis Center (CAS).

The study compared countries on foreign investment attractiveness criteria, including market size and strength, start-up costs, taxation and research and development. Countries selected for comparison were based on their level of influence within the international investment arena, as well as with their economic ties with France. The countries within the study were most of the G8 countries, including the United States, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United Kingdom, as well as Belgium, Finland, Japan, Ireland, the Netherlands, Poland and Spain.

"The 'France Attractiveness Scoreboard' provides a clearer view of France's position within the global marketplace, as well as the overall global economic environment," said IFA North America President Philippe Yvergniaux. "In fact, the United States is France's biggest investor in terms of job numbers, corresponding to nearly 25 percent of all jobs at foreign-owned subsidiaries."

"The Invest in France Agency report underscores the importance and strength of the French economy and financial marketplace both regionally and globally," said Duncan Niederauer, Chief Executive Officer, New York Stock Exchange. "The 2010 France Attractiveness Scoreboard also recognizes France's leadership in creating new business and employment opportunities, focus on innovation as well as research and development, and commitment to initiatives that simultaneously produce economic, environmental and social benefits."

Additional key findings from the survey:

Business Opportunity & Economic Stability

- In 2009, France weathered the global economic crisis with GDP growing more favorably (less than -2.6 percent) than Germany (-4.9 percent) and the United Kingdom (-4.9 percent)

- Business start-up costs in 2010 in France are 1.7 percent less than starting up in the United States

- In France, for every $1 spent on R&D companies received 43 percent back in tax relief compared to the United States' 7 percent. Thus in 2009, more than 14,000 businesses in France saved a total of $5.45 billion due to the research tax credit

Unparalleled R&D Structure Spurs Global Innovation

- France finds itself in the top three leading countries when it comes to research staff employed, with 13.1 per every 1,000 employed vs. 9.4 per every 1,000 employed in the United States

- France is fifth in the world in terms of domestic expenditures on R&D, totaling $42.8 billion in 2008

- Recent examples of innovation driven by French R&D including Sanofi's new intradermal micro-injection influenza vaccination system, developed in partnership with Becton Dickinson through the Lyon research cluster

Leader in Green Growth

- France is Europe's second largest producer of primary energy from renewable sources (13 percent), after Germany (16.5 percent), but ahead of the United States (7.30 percent)(1)

- 37 percent of the 16,705 patents filed are related to eco-innovation, accounting for 22% of worldwide patents dedicated to environmental technologies(2)

- 27 out of the 71 research clusters in France are focused on environmental innovations, including Grenoble where the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) recently signed a research collaboration agreement with Tenerrdis to join forces on solar energy, smart grid and battery technology research

Source: PR Newswire

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