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How to do business in France

France is the world’s fifth largest economy and the third largest in Europe, behind Germany and the United Kingdom. Its placement within the European Union is a vital one, making it a favorite export and import destination for surrounding nations.

France is also known for having the highest Human Development Index (HDI) in the world, making it one of the world’s most sought-after destinations. The French economy has gradually shifted from a state-dominated structure to a privately-owned one, a process made much more evident with the 2017 election of President Emmanuel Macron. This process has gradually drawn funding from the public into the private sector, opening the floodgates for international importers and exporters. France’s central location within the European Union is a benefit to international businesses as well. The country’s coastal geography makes it ideal for transatlantic imports and exports.

As well, France’s climate makes it one of the world’s most valuable agricultural areas. By category, wine and liquor is France’s fourth most exported good. The US is currently France’s largest foreign investor. One major upside of international trade with France for US businesses is the proposed Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (T-TIP). The T-TIP partnership, conducted between the United States and the European Union, further bolsters one of the most important bilateral trade relationships in the world. The T-TIP looks to broaden trade possibilities between the US and EU-affiliated nations by increasing access to European markets.

This will help American businesses, large and small, compete in the global economy through a market that is known for its red tape. The plan promises to create 13 million American and EU jobs, while offering greater trade compatibility and transparency between France and US small businesses.

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