France Trade and Foreign Investment

By | July 23, 2022


  • Business Relationships
  • Foreign direct investment
  • FTAs ​​and Treaties
  • Development Cooperation
  • Prospective fields of study (MOP)

Business relations

France’s intra-EU trade accounts for 54% of French exports (Germany 15%, Italy 8% and Belgium and Spain 7%), while outside the EU 8% of French exports go to the US and 6% to the UK. Regarding French imports, 66% come from EU member states (Germany 17%, Belgium 10% and the Netherlands 9%), while non-EU imports come from 7% from China and 5% from the United States.

  • Allcountrylist: Overview of major industries in France, including mining, construction, transportation, tourism, and foreign trade.

Trade relations with the CzechRepublic

Czech-French trade has an overall growing trend and over the last 20 years, the turnover has increased 4 times, and after the entry of the Czech Republic into the EU, the balance of mutual trade is active on the Czech side. In part, it can be imported into France from Czech branches of French companies. Passenger cars and car components, computer technology components, telecommunications equipment, buses and devices are the most involved in exports. Medicines, cosmetics, cars and car components, electrical equipment, iron and steel are imported.

2017 2018 2019 2020 2021
Exports from the Czech Republic (billion CZK) 119.2 223.5 235.2 208.7 227.5
Imports to the Czech Republic (billion CZK) 216.4 130.8 127.3 114.2 131.1
Balance with the Czech Republic (billion CZK) 97.2 -92.7 -108 -94.5 -96.4

Source: CZSO

Trade relations with countries outside the EU

2017 2018 2019 2020 2021
Exports from countries outside the EU (million EUR) 207,979.3 234,970.10 247,855.90 198,404.30 224,511.20
Imports to countries outside the EU (million EUR) 153 153.9 187,714.2 166,543.7 142,644.4 204 356.10
Balance with non-EU countries (million EUR) 54,825.5 48,082.3 55,388.1 44,785.7 20 155.10

Source: EIU, Eurostat

Foreign direct investment

Foreign direct investment inflows to France, which amounted to €25 billion in 2019, decreased to €4 billion in 2020. This decrease is due to the postponement of investment decisions (-12 billion EUR for capital transactions) and lower reinvestment of profits (-4 billion EUR) by foreign companies in their subsidiaries. In 2020, France was the 17th largest host country for foreign direct investment in the world (12th in 2019) and 6th in Europe, behind Luxembourg, Germany, Ireland, Sweden and the United Kingdom.

In 2020, France maintained its position as the main destination for foreign investment projects in Europe for the second consecutive year. Thanks to its geographical location and the quality of its infrastructure, France offers privileged and direct access to the main markets of the European continent. The favorable economic policy of the Emmanuel Macron administration also contributes to the investment attractiveness of France, which since the beginning of its term of office has sought to make France more attractive to foreign investors and declares support for private companies in an effort to increase French competitiveness in the area of ​​fiscal policy and labor costs.

According to Banque de France data, in 2019 Czech foreign direct investments in France were worth 409 million euros. Since 2018, however, the inflow of Czech investments into France has been increasing, especially in the field of energy, but also in the media, retail, distribution and digital technologies (e-commerce). Czech investments in France are mainly represented by companies such as EPH (energy, media, retail), ČEZ (energy, technology), ŠKODA–Auto France (network of automobile concessionaires), Linet (hospital beds), Lasvit (design glass), etc.

FTAs and treaties

Both France and the Czech Republic are members of the European Union and its common market with free movement of goods, services, capital and people. Bilateral treaties between France and the Czech Republic are listed on the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic in the Treaty Search database under the search term France. The following contracts belong to the most important contracts in the economic field:

  • Agreement on cooperation in the field of tax administration activities between the Ministry of Finance of the Czech Republic and the General Directorate of Taxes at the Ministry of Economy, Finance and Industry in France (2006)
  • Agreement between the government of the Czech Republic and the government of the French Republic on the avoidance of double taxation and prevention of tax evasion in the field of income and property taxes (2005)
  • Agreement between the government of the Czech Republic and the government of the French Republic on mutual administrative cooperation in the area of ​​prevention, detection and prosecution of customs fraud (1998)
  • Agreement on mutual support and protection of investments between the Czech and Slovak Federative Republic and the French Republic (1991)
  • Long-term agreement on economic, industrial and technical cooperation between the government of the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic and the government of the French Republic (1986)
  • Agreement between the government of the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic and the government of the French Republic on cooperation in the field of tourism (1979)
  • Agreement between the Government of the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic and the Government of the French Republic on International Road Transport (1969)
  • Veterinary Convention between the Government of the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic and the Government of the French Republic (1967)

Developmental cooperation

The Czech Republic is not the target of France’s foreign development cooperation projects, nor vice versa.

Prospective fields of study (MOP)

The economic policy focuses on the implementation of the France 2030 strategic investment plan presented by the government in October 2021. The plan, worth €30 billion over 5 years, is intended to support France’s self-sufficiency and its return to industrial sovereignty, especially in technology-intensive and strategic sectors, to direct France to a new low-carbon model, and help make France an innovation and technology powerhouse.

Energy industry

The France 2030 investment plan envisages investments of CZK 200 billion in the energy sector, of which CZK 25 billion is intended for new nuclear projects, especially the development of the industrial supply of small and medium-sized reactors. The French nuclear safety authority has decided to extend the life of the eight oldest French reactors built in the 1980s. Their operator has committed to carrying out modernization works worth CZK trillion. France is trying to diversify its energy mix, and the current priority is the development of renewable energy sources, whose share in electricity production should represent 40% in the horizon of 2028. Investments can represent opportunities for Czech suppliers of equipment and parts for wind and solar power plants, solar panels, cabling or energy storage.

Civil aviation industry

After a slump in sales in connection with the sanitary crisis and restrictions on mobility, Europe’s largest aircraft manufacturer, based in Toulouse, managed to achieve the goal it set for 2021 – the delivery of 611 devices – this number is a third lower than in the period before the sanitary crisis, but compared to 2020, it represents an 8% increase. The company is registering an increasing number of new orders in connection with the plans of many airlines to renew their aircraft fleets, which may present opportunities for suppliers of parts and components for aviation, precision machined components, surface materials, composite parts, wiring, aircraft interior parts, electronics or software. The France 2030 plan sets the goal of producing France’s first low-emission aircraft by 2030.


Thanks to the post-pandemic economic recovery in France, the French ICT sector saw a 6.3% increase in 2021 and is expected to grow by up to 7.1% in 2022. The current dynamics of economic growth allow the renewal or initiation of major investment projects in the field of information technology in French private companies with the aim of continuing the digital transformation, automating their business processes and strengthening the security of their information systems. An important place is occupied by the cloud, which is implemented in many companies. Opportunities also exist in solutions for e-commerce, processing large amounts of data, security of information systems, development of digital infrastructure.

Defense industry

In 2020, France joined NATO as a country that spends at least 2% of GDP on defense, and defense spending has been increased annually in the French state budget in recent years. Increasing spending guarantees the armed forces funds for investments in strategic sectors such as cyber security and space, modernization projects to renew the equipment of the armed forces, strengthen defense capacities, supplies of everyday basic equipment, but also for the renovation or construction of new buildings for the personnel of the Ministry of Defense and operational infrastructure adapted for the use of advanced and technologically demanding equipment.

Healthcare and pharmaceutical industry

From 2022, a new phase of the Law on Prevention of Waste in Support of the Circular Economy entered into force, the aim of which is to accelerate the change from the existing model of the linear economy to a circular one, reduce the generation of waste, ensure its better processing, recycling and further use. France wants to completely get rid of single-use plastic packaging by 2040 and is gradually introducing measures that will lead to their elimination. All these measures will lead manufacturers and traders to search for alternative packaging materials, such as glass food cans, biodegradable packaging materials, product reuse technologies, waste valorization – the use of valuable materials and energy, smart technologies using sensors and communication technologies for optimization waste sorting.

Railway industry and rail transport

The current economic trend is favorable to the development of rail transport with regard to the greening of transport and climate commitments. The French railway sector is therefore considered a sector of the future and the government has supported it with investments in the amount of 118 billion CZK. Investments are intended for renovations of the railway network and train stations, improvement of services and offers provided at stations, preservation of less used train lines and development of rail freight infrastructure to improve the supply of industrial enterprises, creation or renovation of multimodal logistics platforms and resumption of operation of night train lines. Further investments are aimed at renewing the vehicle fleet, trains, metro sets and trams.

France Trade