France is the world’s number four economic power in terms of GDP. The country’s assets are varied and include its transport and telecommunications sectors, agri-foodstuffs and pharmaceutical industries along with banking, insurance, tourism and the traditional luxury products (leather goods, ready-to-wear fashion, perfumes, fine wines and spirits, etc.).

Key Figures 1995:
GDP: $1,520 billion
Inflation: 2.1%
Trade surplus: $ 20.9 billion

In 1995 France had a trade surplus of 104.5 billion francs ($20.9 billion); it is the world’s fourth largest exporter of goods (mainly durables) and ranks second in services and agriculture (cereals and agri-foodstuffs in particular). It is the leading producer and exporter of farm products in Europe. France carries out 64% of its trade with its European Union partners.

France ranks third internationally for inward investment. Despite a high rate of unemployment (12% of the labour force) and large public deficits (which were nevertheless cut to 5% of GDP in 1995 and should be reduced to 4% by the end of 1996), foreign investors appreciate the skills of French workers, the advanced level of research, the mastery of high technology, the stable currency and control of production costs.

Also see:



Research & Development



Foreign Trade