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Is France becoming Europe’s go-to FDI destination?

This year’s ‘Choose France’ summit, held at Versailles this month, has led to pledges of €13bn of future investment in the country.

Reporting from Euractiv indicated more than 200 chief executives, including Tesla and Twitter supremo Elon Musk, attended the event. While Musk did not make any overt pledge, 28 company-specific projects were reportedly announced, equating to what could be turn into 8,000 new jobs. This follows reporting in February by the same outlet that more than 1,700 foreign direct investment projects were identified in France last year.

The ‘Choose France’ investment summit has been running for the last five years. In that time, according to its own website, it claims there have been 6,910 foreign investment projects with more than 180,000 jobs maintained or created.

President Emmanuel Macron did not give a speech this year at ‘Choose France’, having outlined his industrial plan earlier in the week during a stop in Dunkirk. “We are turning up the momentum,” Macron said, according to Le Monde. “The Dunkirk basin has lost 6,000 industrial jobs in 20 years. We will recreate 16,000 by 2030. We are doing more than repairing the inaction of the 2000s.”

Record year for job creation

Elsewhere, the government agency Business France published last week its 2022 Annual Report on Foreign Direct Investment in France, featuring 1,725 foreign investment projects that have created or maintained 58,810 jobs nationwide. While the number of job-creating investment projects recorded increased by 7% compared with 2021, it added, the increase in the number of jobs created or maintained is up 31% compared with 2021.

Writing in the report, Bruno Le Maire, economic minister in the French government, noted: “France’s attractiveness continues to grow. With 1,725 projects – the highest figure ever recorded – and a leap of more than 30% in the number of jobs created or maintained, 2022 was an even better year than 2021. We have seen one record year after another, despite the geopolitical, energy and inflationary crises that are gripping France and Europe.” According to the report,16% of the investment into projects last year came from the US, followed by Germany at 15% and the UK at 10%.

Part of the Mark Allen Group.