Due to the coronavirus crisis, France attracted less foreign investment last year.

On the other hand, the number of jobs created or maintained thanks to these investments ranks 2020 among the best years on this point for ten years.

"France has been able to remain attractive," said Minister Franck Riester.

The number of foreign investment decisions in France fell by 17% in 2020 compared to 2019, against the backdrop of a global slowdown in international investment linked to the Covid-19 pandemic.

According to data released on Friday by the government agency Business France, 1,215 investment decisions were taken last year by foreign companies, which have created nearly 30,000 jobs and maintained nearly 5,000 others. .

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The total jobs thus created or maintained (43,567) are down 13% compared to 2019, but 14% higher than in 2018, which ranks 2020 as the second best year "for ten years", according to the agency , which is responsible for promoting these investments.

Progress of the Netherlands

Production sites, at the heart of the government's industrial reconquest ambition, represent a quarter of investment decisions and are the source of 37% of jobs created.

"Despite an unprecedented economic crisis, France has remained attractive: it is the fruit of the reforms carried out over the past three years, which have strengthened our competitiveness," Minister Delegate for Foreign Trade Franck Riester told AFP. .

Globally, foreign direct investment (FDI) fell by half (49%) during the first half of 2020, according to the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (Unctad).

A drop of "17% is really proof that we have withstood this crisis well," said Christophe Lecourtier, Managing Director of Business France, which he also explains by the large share (64%) of investments from Europe.


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The United States remains the first country in number of investment decisions in France with 17%, ahead of Germany by a short lead (16.5%).

Next come the United Kingdom (10%), Italy (8%) and the Netherlands (7%), the latter increasing by 43% compared to 2019.

The Team France Invest project

In 2019, France had risen to the first rank of the most attractive European countries for foreign investors, according to the EY cabinet, a performance that the government was pleased with.

To strengthen this dynamic, ministers Franck Riester, Agnès Pannier-Runacher (Industry) and Jacqueline Gourault (Territories) launched the Team France Invest project on Friday, in order to support investors in territories less known than the Paris region or the major regional metropolises.

Concretely, online “data rooms” will serve as a “one-stop-shop” for investors, in their relations with regional development agencies, prefectures, the public bank Bpifrance and Business France, explained Christophe Lecourtier.