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Foreign Investment in France at 10-Year High

Foreign Investment in France at 10-Year HighForeign Investment in France at 10-Year High

Foreign investment in France rose 16% in 2017 to levels not seen for a decade as President Emmanuel Macron’s bid to attract money from abroad gains pace, a government report said late Tuesday.

Public agency Business France said 1,298 foreign investment projects were announced last year, allowing some 33,500 jobs to be saved or created. The figure is “the best in 10 years”, the report said, up from 1,117 last year, AFP reported.

In a positive sign for Macron’s government, which sees boosting France’s attractiveness as an investment destination as a priority, 412 new companies decided to invest in France—accounting for a third of the projects.

Half of the announcements were for completely new projects while 42% will expand existing ones, with takeovers accounting for the rest.

The report did not, however, include a count of how many foreign investors may have left France over the same period.

Investors from elsewhere in Europe were behind 58% of the projects, but the report said American firms accounted for more of the jobs, retaking the top spot from Germany a year earlier.

India meanwhile notched up a 73% rise in investment projects in France—notably the decision by IT giant Infosys to open a development center in the southern port city of Marseille.

Other flagship announcements include Toyota’s plans to expand its site near Valenciennes on the Belgian border, unveiled by Macron to great fanfare in January as part of his “Choose France” campaign.

Manufacturing accounted for the biggest chunk of the projects—343—with engineering making up a tenth.

 

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