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Attractiveness of France for Investors 2019 Kantar Survey

New Insight
8 February 2019
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Kantar is a UK-based company, a subsidiary of the WPP Group, founded in 1993, dedicated to consulting, market research and marketing.

France continued to hold its position just behind Germany as the second most attractive country in Europe for investors, in a January survey conductered by the Kantar research group. An impressive 87 % of the 2019 survey respondents consider France attractive, matching similar positive survey results last Fall.

The Kantar survey was requested by Business France to gauge the effetct of recent media coverage of the « yellow vests » movement on 500 foreign investors from five key countries. According to the Kantar survey results the “yellow vest” crisis has not had a significant negative impact on France’s image.

In fact according to EY, France remains the leading country in Europe in terms of foreign investment projects in industry. Foreign investors have not lost faith in the business reforms that have begun under the Macron presidency.  (2018 saw the Toyota announcement of a 300 million euros investment in its Valenciennes plant)

« At the beginning of the five-year period, there was clearly a Macron effect among foreigners, delighted to see a pro-business executive at the head of France. This has slowed down over time, but we have not seen any recent decline in investment projects or freezes » said Thomas Etitia, from the Lyon office of Regional Partners, which works to bring foreign investors to France’s Regions.

BREXIT News More Troubling

« Yellow vests” have an effect on France’s image abroad, but it is not that deep. Among our clients, none of them are thinking of leaving France, unlike the departure movement we are witnessing across the Channel », asserts Marc Lhermitte, partner at EY in charge of attractiveness issues. “Today, Brexit is considered by foreign investors to be a much riskier event for them than the ‘yellow vest’ crisis. »

These are turbulent times that have in general made investors more attentive to political events ; Brexit, Chinese-American tariff disputes, and reactions to increased immigration throughout the world. And that investors consider these events in the risk equations is a given.

What the 2019 Kantar business survey tells us is that investors are still satisfied with France’s competivity in their formulas. Good news for France.


Didier Hémion

Partner Accountant
International Business Services Department

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