On Monday 14 March 2022, Business France published the preliminary figures of its 2021 report on international investments in France. With 1,607 investment decisions, an increase of 32% compared to 2020, 2021 is a record year. The attractiveness of foreign investment is an essential mission of the French Treasury, in which the Economic departments abroad play an active role.

2021, a record year for international investments in France: 1,607 investment decisions were recorded, up 32% compared to 2020. These project announcements would help create or maintain 45,008 jobs, i.e. 30% more than in 2020. The indicators in the report published by Business France have therefore exceeded their 2019 level (1,468 projects recorded for 39,542 jobs), reflecting France's renewed attractiveness in the context of the global pandemic.

66% of investment decisions came from Europe, up 36% from 2020, while the share for North America and Asia was 19% and 8% respectively. Germany has become the leading foreign investor in France, overtaking the United States (18% of investment decisions vs 15%). The United Kingdom rounds out the top three with 9% of investment decisions, followed by Belgium (7%) and the Netherlands (6%).

Business France's report seems to confirm France's reindustrialization direction

More than a quarter of the investment decisions recorded (460 out of 1,607, or 28.6%) involve industrial projects, which is again a very sharp increase compared to last year (+49%). Most of these industrial projects are site expansion projects (83%). It also appears that 29% of the projects and 34% of the jobs potentially created involve production activities. With 155 investment projects, the R&D and engineering sector is expected to generate over 3,000 jobs.

The investment projects identified are spread throughout the country, benefiting from the unfolding of Team France Invest

The main regions hosting projects are Ile-de-France, Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, Grand Est, Hauts-de-France and Occitanie. However, the north-eastern quarter of the country concentrates the projects likely to create or maintain the most jobs. The report also states that 45% of foreign investment decisions involve municipalities with fewer than 20,000 inhabitants. This strong territorial network seems to be benefiting from the efforts of Team France Invest, since Business France has shared 1,930 projects with the regions and investors have received 1,222 territorial offers to facilitate their investment.

The full report will be published at the end of March.


An essential mission of the French Treasury

The French Treasury, with its network abroad, has stepped up its activity in this area of foreign investment attraction. As a member of Team France Invest, the Treasury plays a very active role in the organisation of the annual Choose France Summits and the investment announcements that traditionally accompany this event. The day of 17 January 2022 dedicated to attractiveness (following the cancellation of the in-person summit due to the pandemic context) was thus the opportunity to announce 21 investment projects, representing more than €4 billion in investments and expected to create 10,000 jobs. But the Treasury's economic services network is also very active in the area of prospecting abroad, and is behind some of the investment projects listed in this report, with more than 200 investment projects identified and/or supported in 2021.

Methodology of Business France's annual report

Available since 1993, the report lists foreign investment projects that create sustainable employment. It is based on project announcements validated by the teams of Business France and the Regional Development Agencies and counts the number of associated jobs. The number of jobs created or maintained retained in the Balance Sheet is that announced for the next three years, this period corresponding approximately to the time horizon for programming investments by companies.