Good News: Europe Is Back On Track

16 Jun 2011


Immigration News

The latest Ernst & Young European Attractiveness Survey concludes that “Europe is back on track” in light of the intentions of companies worldwide to invest and expand in Europe. The report was compiled using feedback from no fewer than 812 international business decision-makers.

The results of the survey, unveiled at the World Investment Conference (WIC) in La Baule, France, were well received as a positive signal by the global business and political leaders in attendance. The findings were reflected in the general positive feeling that pervaded the event about the future for investment in Europe.

There was also good news for France specifically as, along with the UK, it remained an FDI leader in Europe, while Western Europe remained the second most attractive investment region in the world in the eyes of respondents, surpassed only by China.

Attending the conference was David Appia, Chairman and CEO of the Invest in France Agency. He drew attention to the agency’s own annual report, which also confirmed France’s improving position in the inward investment market. He commented that “France remains the leading recipient in Europe of industrial projects. For us, 2010 was a very good year. According to our own figures and the perceptions of the Ernst & Young survey, we expect to maintain our growth.”

Bronwyn Curtis, Head of Global Research for HSBC, was an inspiring delegate at the conference and, when interviewed, pointed out that “France does quite well if you look at the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business Index.” When asked if she felt France is reacting fast enough to the market, Curtis said that “France is moving quickly, they see that they must take the opportunities now.”

Another delegate and business leader who is very enthusiastic about France as a business destination is Cees de Wijs, Senior Vice President of International Operations at ACS. ACS, a Xerox company, runs major cutting-edge urban transport projects in France and around the world. Mr. de Wijs commented that “The future of investment in France is very positive for Xerox. We invest a lot in product development and the know-how of our people and we are confident that we will continue to do so in France.”

Further insight into France’s position in the market was provided by Marc Lhermitte, a partner at Ernst & Young. He observed that “France’s challenge is to make sure that it retains its existing investors and works hard to help them grow.” One other area of progress he noted is that France is now doing well in attracting manufacturing projects.

From a wider perspective, Mr. Appia recognized the importance of the European economy to France’s position. “Companies that come from foreign countries and invest in France do so of course because of the size of the French market, but they also use France as a springboard into Europe. Having a strong, vibrant, dynamic European economy contributes to France’s investment attractiveness.”

France’s strong showing in the Ernst & Young survey, backed up by the views of numerous business leaders at the World Investment Conference, highlights the country’s political commitment to uphold and enhance policies that increase France’s attractiveness to foreign investors.


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