10%: The rise in foreign investment in the Paris region in 2013
The Paris region attracted 119 international investment projects between October 2012 and October 2013, compared to 108 the previous year, according to the KPMG consultancy, which has just published its fifth study of global cities’ attractiveness.
The result is especially encouraging in that the method is still the same. KPMG considers only job- and value-creating investment (“greenfield investments”) and ignores mergers and acquisitions, privatizations and alliances, and purely financial investment. The study is based on data from the Financial Times. Paris ranks as Europe’s second-biggest hub and moves to seventh place worldwide.
The increased investment in the Paris region is even more spectacular when one takes into account strategic functions investments alone, which are the most profitable. Indeed, Paris has moved from 15th to eighth place, with 60 operations.
France: an open, attractive economy:
These sound figures show that international business leaders still deem Paris an essential market – especially when average investment seen in the West Europe region has fallen by 5% overall. Paris’s attractiveness is particularly due to the dynamic image conveyed by the Greater Paris project, and the whole of France is a leading destination for foreign investment and skills.
The opening-up to foreign investment dates back to the 19th century, with JP Morgan and Bosch establishing themselves in France in 1868 and 1899 respectively. Since then, companies from 132 countries have been set up in every sector.
KPMG’s findings are backed up by other rankings, which highlight that France is one of the most international investment-friendly countries.
France is the leading country in Europe for welcoming foreign investment in the industrial sector (Source: Ernst & Young Attractiveness Survey, 2013). France ranks fifth in the world.
Foreign companies in France are particularly dynamic: more than 20,000 companies under foreign control operate in France (Source: INSEE, 2012). They are well represented among large companies (32% of companies in France with more than 5,000 employees are of foreign origin) (Source: INSEE, 2012). Foreign companies in France employ 1.8 million people (13% of the population in work) and account for a third of French exports and 29% of the total R&D carried out by companies in France (Source: INSEE).
Adapting regulations to make it easier to attract foreign skills and expertise:
To facilitate international mobility, there are multiannual residence permits:
The “Skills and Expertise” residence permit (carte competences et talents): intended, among others, for foreign nationals appointed directors of subsidiaries in France. Created in 2006, this card is for people who have a project, linked to a skill or expertise, which is directly or indirectly of interest to France and their country of origin. With the “Skills and Expertise” permit, foreigners can carry out any professional activity of their choice linked to their project or activity.
The “Expatriate Employee” residence permit (carte de séjour “salarié en mission”): intended for employees on intra-group job transfers (with a contract under French law or on assignment). This residence permit is for foreign nationals staying and working for more than three months and with a monthly salary at least 1.5 times the minimum wage. The “Expatriate Employee” residence permit is temporary, issued for a three-year period. It can be renewed on the grounds that the assignment or period abroad has been extended.
The European Blue Card: reserved for highly-qualified employees (with at least three years’ higher education or five years’ professional experience and a gross monthly salary of at least €4,300). Following an 18-month period, holders of a European Blue Card issued by a member state can apply for a similar card in another member state. The aim of this system is to make it easier for third country nationals to enter and stay in France and work there in highly-qualified jobs.