France is nonetheless extremely diverse: it concentrates a wealth of scenery, regional identities each with their own particular joie de vivre defined by cultural and historic differences.
The French Economy
France is the world’s second largest exporter of services and farm products and fourth largest exporter of goods…
<!–^~^66|right|^~^–>SERVICE SECTOR Financial services Market capitalization of shares listed on the Paris stock exchange totals 2,400 billion francs ($480 billion), 31.5% of French GDP, ranking Paris fifth in the world. Four French banks are among the world’s top 25: CrÃˆdit Agricole (8th), Compagnie FinanciÃ‹re Paribas (20th), Groupe Caisses d’Epargne (21st) and Banque Nationale de Paris [...]
<!–^~^67|right|^~^–> Road network Densest in the world, longest in the EU with a total of 964,356 km of local, secondary and main roads and motorways, including 7,396 km of motorways (second in Europe). Rail network On 1 January 1996, the SNCF (National Railroad Company) was responsible for 31,940 km of track. France holds the world [...]
<!–^~^70|right|^~^–>National R & D expenditure amounts to 190 billion francs ($38 billion) i.e. 2.5% of GDP. The public sector finances 51% of it and is responsible for operating (building maintenance, salaries, laboratory equipment) the major national research centres, which include the CNRS (all fields), INSERM (medicine), INRA (agronomy), etc.. Privately-financed research focuses on advanced technology [...]
<!–^~^69|right|^~^–>Leading industrial sectors in France : Construction and civil engineering. Annual production : 797 billion francs ($159.4 billion). Four French groups (Bouygues, SGE, Eiffage and GTM-Entrepose) rank among the top ten in European construction, with an annual turnover of 158 billion francs ($31.6 billion). Agri-foodstuffs. Annual turnover: 637 billion francs ($127.8 billion). Leading sectors: meat [...]
<!–^~^68|right|^~^–>Farms: 730,000Farmers/farm workers: 910,000Utilized agricultural area: 30,139,000 hectares Principal agricultural products in France: Sugar beet: 1st in the EU, 2nd in the world (29 million tonnes) Wine: 2nd in the world, 2nd in the EU (5.3 million tonnes) Milk: 2nd in the EU, 5th in the world (23.3 million tonnes) Beef and veal: 1st in [...]