Many foreign companies see France as a challenging market area due to the persisting images of tiring bureaucracy and requirements of perfect French skills. Yes, the French do cherish their culture and language but the image of an introverted market is very much outdated. For a company, there are numerous obvious advantages in getting established on the French market:
1. A major market area all by itself. France is the largest country in Western Europe with 63.6 million inhabitants. To add to its purchasing power, the country welcomes yearly the largest number of tourists in the world, with 76.8 million visitors in 2010.
2. Closely connected to the entire Western European market. France’s location in the crossroads of major road and rail transport systems guarantees the diffusion of goods all around Europe.
3. Open to foreign investors. Currently, France hosts more the 22,000 foreign companies. Especially Paris and the whole of Ile-de-France are the home of many headquarters of multinational companies. In fact, France ranks among the most attractive countries for foreign investment.
4. Less bureaucracy than you think. The rules and regulations are the same for all companies regardless of their origins. There are no administrative restrictions on foreign investments in France although mandatory declarations or permits are required in some cases. What is more, the timeframe required to set up a company in France is very short and the whole procedure of setting up a business can now be carried out over the internet.
5. Even more attractive after the reforms of recent years. The government has striven to promote competitiveness and improve the business environment by simplifying and reducing corporate taxation, and by introducing more flexibility in the labour market. In addition, the government has promoted R&D, notably through the establishment of innovation clusters and France’s research tax credit, and encouraged the arrival of foreign skills and expertise in France.
A word on the challenges
Despite all the advantages, business in France – like in any other market area – cannot be achieved overnight. The French generally take time in making decisions. Furthermore, negotiations can turn out to be long as French business environment continues to be quite hierarchical, especially in comparison with the Nordic working environment. To familiarize yourself with the special characteristics of the market, do not hesitate to contact the local Chamber of Commerce.
Connect with us
The French-Finnish Chamber of Commerce (Chambre de Commerce Franco-Finlandaise) in Paris offers its services to all companies interested in the French market or in any collaboration between companies operating on these two markets. We offer a possibility to network with other Nordic companies involved in the market and an access to a pool of important contacts. Moreover, we provide companies with market knowledge and execute market research studies according to your company’s specified needs. For further information, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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