France, the most attractive European country but investments in sharp decline


The health crisis may well have highlighted certain weaknesses of the French model, the Hexagon retains for the second consecutive year its trophy of the most attractive European country in the eyes of foreign investors.

This is undeniably good news for the government which, despite the economic consequences of the health crisis, can be proud of recording, for the second year in a row, the first place of the most attractive countries in Europe, according to the firm EY. But on closer inspection, France almost lost its crown: last year, 985 foreign direct investment projects were implemented, a result very close to that of the United Kingdom (975 projects). Germany, for its part, has 930 investment projects. Above all, in terms of volume, France has lost much more than its neighbors compared to 2019.

A narrowly preserved crown

Thus, the number of projects fell by 18% year on year, while the decline was 12% for the United Kingdom, and only 4% for Germany. The European average is -13%: France is therefore doing less well than the rest of the old continent. Despite everything, this narrowly conserved first place is a source of satisfaction for Bruno Le Maire, for whom this result “testifies to the liveliness and solidity of our economy”. And of course, it is the policy of the government and of the President of the Republic which allows the country to maintain its attractiveness: ” The cuts in corporate and capital taxes, and, since this year, the cut in production taxes create a new stable and attractive tax system for companies “.

Relocation in progress

Foreign investors welcome the country’s response to the health storm, not only the support measures but also the recovery plan: 44% consider it efficient, only one in ten think it is less efficient than elsewhere. The other lesson of this annual study is the appetite of foreign business leaders to want to relocate their activities in France: more than half of them intend to do so in the next three years. 18% will relocate in the coming months.