France retains pole-position for foreign investment in 2021, report shows

The logo of the Bercy Finance Ministry is seen at the main entrance of the Ministry in Paris, France
The logo of the Bercy Finance Ministry is seen at the main entrance of the Ministry in Paris, France REUTERS - CHARLES PLATIAU

The audit and consulting firm Ernst & Young has published the 2021 France Attractiveness Barometer, confirming France's position as the top European country for investment projects.


Before the Covid-19 pandemic hit Europe in 2020, France had managed to climb to first place in terms of direct foreign investment, ahead of Germany and even the UK.

This position has now been confirmed in the latest report published this Monday by EY (formerly Ernst & Young).

Last year there were 985 foreign investment projects in France, 975 in the UK and 930 in Germany, according to EY.

However, this high ranking is tempered by the fact that the number of investment projects is falling across Europe.

Investment is slightly more stable in Germany than in France, and the UK has fared quite well, despite Brexit.

French President Emmanuel Macron rejoiced the EY report in a tweet, saying it was "excellent news with concrete repercussions."

Forecast for 2022

EY fears that foreign investment will be hit by a "long covid" effect, with fewer projects and no return to economic normality before the middle of next year. 

One optimistic point is that in 2020, the pharmaceutical industry drove foreign investment in France, and this is expected to continue.

Another positive point is that France is seen as a country that supports its economy well, unlike the Netherlands for example, which is experiencing a sharp decline. 

The global minimum tax project, strongly supported by US President Joe Biden should also prove to be a positive move for the French economy.

This project, which is progressing rapidly to implement a 15% tax worldwide, is intended to put an end to tax haven loop-holes.

Meanwhile, President Macron has scheduled a "Choose France" investment summit to serenade more foreign investment into the country, which is due to take place on 28 June at the Château de Versailles.

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