France’s world-class infrastructure, which provides a strategic gateway to Europe, the Middle East and Africa, is another compelling reason why France is a smart investment proposition.
France boasts excellent transport connections:
- Located at the heart of Europe, France offers quick and easy access to neighboring countries, with key destinations within a 2,000-km (1,250-mile) radius of Paris. (World Travel and Tourism Council)
- Paris-Charles de Gaulle Airport is ranked second by passenger numbers and second for cargo in Europe. (ACI 2012)
- Two French ports were included in the European top 10 by tonnage in 2011: Marseille (fifth) and Le Havre (eighth). (Port of Rotterdam Authority, 2012)
- France boasts the second-largest high-speed rail network in Europe, with 1,178 miles of dedicated high-speed lines. (International Union of Railways, 2011)
- It is home to one of the largest motorway networks in Europe, covering more than 6,835 miles. (Eurostat, 2012)
France is a leading tourism destination:
- France has been the world’s most popular tourism destination for three years in a row, boasting an estimated 79.5 million tourists in 2011. (World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), 2012)
- The number of American tourists visiting Paris increased by 4% despite the weak dollar in the first half of 2011 to 600,000. Tourists from Latin America, Middle East and Eastern Europe also showed steady increases. (World Travel and Tourism Council, 2011)
France has an energized and dynamic digital economy:
- France enjoys one of the highest take-ups of electronic communications in Europe, with 80.1% of the population using either landline or mobile internet (Impact of the internet on the French economy, McKinsey & Co., 2011) and a broadband penetration rate of 35.9% in 2011, higher than most of its European counterparts (OECD, Broadband Statistics, December 2011).
- 91% of the French population owns a mobile phone. (FEVAD (French e-Commerce Federation), 2011)
- With 23.3 million subscribers registered in the second quarter of 2012, the broadband internet market is expanding rapidly. ARCEP (French telecoms and post regulator), May 2012
Telecommunication rates in France are among the lowest in the European Union, while network coverage is extremely reliable. (AFOM (French Mobiles Operators Association), 2010)
According to a recent report by Ofcom, the British telecoms regulator, mobile tariffs for outbound minutes in France are lower than in Germany, Italy or Spain.
Furthermore, France is making substantial investments:
€4.5 billion has been earmarked for the digital economy as part of the “National Investment Program”:
- €2 billion for internet infrastructure (larger mobile bandwidth, fiber optics, satellite-related solutions) to cover 100% of the country by 2025.
- €2.25 billion to support innovation in digital applications and businesses.
- €250 million to develop smart grids.