International business opportunities in France

France shares borders with six different countries, namely Spain, Luxembourg, Germany, Belgium, Italy and Switzerland. Paris is France’s capital, and it is also the biggest city in the country. As a leader among its European neighbours, France is also among the most advanced countries in the world. A prominent member of the United Nations Security Council, the G-20, NATO, the EU, the G-8 and numerous other multilateral organizations, France finds itself playing a highly influential role on the global platform.

France’s intelligent economical framework sees diversification across all sectors with the government either partly or entirely privatising larger conglomerates. These include companies such as Renault, Air France, France Telecom and Thales among others. The government’s strong hold however is predominantly found in the power, defence and public transport industries.

What are France’s vital data points?

Population (million) 67.05
GDP (billion USD) 2,715
GDP per capita (USD) 36,855
GDP per capita PPP (USD) 44,317
Purchasing power per dollar, compared to the USA 91%
Surface area (sq km) 549,087
% of population living in urban areas 81%
% of GDP added by agriculture – industry – services 1.6% – 17.1% – 70.1%
Ease of doing business index (1 = best, 189 = lowest) 32

What is France’s business index?

In ‘Ease of Doing Business’, France scores an encouraging ‘32’ with ‘1’ representing the best business scenario and ‘180’ representing the least favourable.

Where are the business opportunities in France?

France’s top industries are:

  • Machinery
  • Chemicals
  • Automobiles
  • Metallurgy
  • Aircraft
  • Electronics
  • Textiles
  • Food processing
  • Tourism

What are France’s top export commodities?

  • Machinery and Transport equipment
  • Aircraft
  • Plastics
  • Chemicals
  • Pharmaceutical products
  • Iron and steel
  • Beverages

Which are France’s top export partners? (percentage of total exports)

  • Germany (14.1%)
  • US (8.5%)
  • Italy (7.6%)
  • Spain (7.5%)
  • Belgium (6.9%)
  • UK (6.8%)
  • Netherlands (3.5%)

France’s political framework

France has a Republican government under which the head of the state is the President, elected for a five year term under universal suffrage. The head of government is the Prime Minister who suggests the cabinet members to be appointed by the President among other functions. The President is elected by absolute majority while the Prime Minister is appointed by the President.

What are France’s important events?

France is globally known for art, cuisine, and its port cities. Popular national sports are rugby, cycling, football, and basketball.

Top events in France include:

  • Tour de France
  • Mardi Gras
  • Monaco Grand Prix
  • The Cannes Film Festival
  • Bastille Day

What are France’s national holidays?

  • 1 January: New Year’s Day (Nouvel an / Jour de l’an / Premier de l’an)
  • 28 March : Good Friday
  • 1 May: May Day/Labour Day (Fête du Travail / Fête des Travailleurs)
  • 5 May: Ascension Day
  • 8 May: Victory in Europe Day (Fête de la Victoire)
  • 16 May: Whitmonday
  • 14 July: Bastille Day (Fête nationale)
  • 15 August: Assumption of Mary to Heaven (L’Assomption de Marie)
  • 1 November: All Saints’ Day (La Toussaint)
  • 11 November: Armistice Day (Armistice de 1918)
  • 25 December: Christmas Day (Noël)

Affected by the Eurozone crisis, however, France is gradually recovering, and may be a tempting destination for international businesses. A good business strategy will help you understand the country and formulate your international expansion.

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