France, a regional economy

41% of investments

were made in towns with fewer than 20,000 inhabitants


(Annual report Foreign investment in France, 2020)

71% of industrial investments

were located in towns with fewer than 20,000 inhabitants

(Annual report Foreign investment in France, 2020)

Destination Paris 2nd

the most attractive in the world after New York




The FDI map in each region

France Attractiveness Scoreboard 2020

France Attractiveness Scoreboard 2020

The 2020 edition of the France Attractiveness Scoreboard showcases France’s key strengths. Both a decision-making tool and an objective analysis of France’s attractiveness, the eleventh edition of this Business France publication, produced in partnership with the French Treasury Directorate, has been published amid an unprecedented global health crisis.

In 2019, France was the world’s seventh largest economy and the fifth largest exporter of goods and services. It boasts a number of key strengths; these include high-quality transport and telecommunications infrastructure, a key geographical position within Europe, a strong domestic market and the highest fertility rate of any European country.

In 2019, France became the leading country for job-creating foreign investments in Europe and remains top for both industrial and R&D projects. This unprecedented investor confidence is partly due to the efforts made since the start of the President’s five-year term to modernize the French economy and make it more competitive.

You will discover other key indicators by reading the Attractiveness Scoreboard, including indicators that guarantee relative resistance to economic and political ups and downs, whether internal or external. Not to mention the effectiveness of the reforms carried out in recent years and the pro-active public policy introduced to deal with the Covid-19 crisis. There are simply many positive signs to maintain the confidence of potential investors.

The France Attractiveness Scoreboard is an annual reference publication for understanding the strengths of the French economy.

It offers an objective analysis of France’s attractiveness by taking into account more than 140 indicators, which include:

  • Outcome indicators: Foreign direct investment, the opening-up of economies, strategic activities, attraction of foreign talent.
  • Attractiveness criteria: Market size, education, research and innovation, infrastructure, administrative environment, financial environment, costs and taxation, quality of life, green growth.

For more information, please see the following:

Paris: one of the world’s most appreciated cities



Paris #1 world city for investments in the next three years, ahead of Beijing, Shanghai and London.

The world’s #1 city for investment in R&D.

Key figures



Investment decisions confirmed in 2019 have created jobs in all French regions, not only in major cities but also in more remote parts of the country. They are home to sophisticated ecosystems, able to support technological and R&D projects.

By project numbers, Ile de France (Paris region), Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, Occitanie, Hauts de France, Bourgogne-Franche-Comté and Grand Est together attracted three-quarters of all investment decisions.
The economic attractiveness of urban areas can also be explained by a combination of various factors: human capital, connectivity, mobility, training and care, and quality of life. Ultimately, the regions with the highest results are those which have created the necessary conditions to welcome new people and thus foster business development. The attractiveness of the Ile de France/Paris region and France’s other major cities are not to the detriment of other French regions.

When expressed as a share of national GDP, the Occitanie, Bourgogne-Franche-Comté, Hauts de France and Grand Est regions welcomed a much higher number of foreign investment projects than their economic size (proportion of national GDP) would suggest. Regions like Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur and Centre-Val de Loire have an attractiveness corresponding to their economic size.

Get to know more about the key strengths of France’s regions

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More reasons to choose France


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