This was the first time that France has entered the top five on the annual Foreign Direct Investment Confidence Index by US management and consulting firm A.T. Kearney, beating China in the rankings by two places.
The country’s rating sharply improved following the election of Emmanuel Macron as President, and does not appear to have been badly affected by the gilets jaunes movement.
France came in fifth place, up two from last year.
The report said: “Confidence in the French economy strongly improved after the election of Emmanuel Macron in 2017, and has not been affected by the gilets jaunes movement. France remains competitive.”
For the seventh year in a row, the United States has come out on top, due - A.T. Kearney said - to its “vast domestic market”, “competitive fiscality” and “technological capacity”.
The US is followed by Germany and Canada; and in fourth place - as in previous years - is the United Kingdom, despite the delays and continued uncertainty over Brexit. Japan took sixth place.
China, which took the top spot on the rankings for 10 years between 2002-2012, fell this year to seventh place - its lowest ranking since the list first began 20 years ago.
This was attributed to “the slowing of interior demand”, “a drop in exports”, “growing worries over the level of debt of Chinese companies”, and the “impact of the commercial war with the United States”.
Of the total list, “22 of the 25 top places are taken by developed nations”, said A.T. Kearney.
Italy took eighth place, followed by Australia in ninth, and Singapore in tenth.
Spain, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Denmark, Sweden, India, South Korea, Belgium, New Zealand, Ireland, Austria, Taiwan (China), Finland, Norway and Mexico took the remaining 25 places respectively.
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