Discover business topics

Doing business worldwide

Blog about doing business internationally.

France is an industrialized, modern nation with the third-largest economy in Europe. Based on nominal GDP, France has the sixth-largest economy around the globe, with a total of $2.8 trillion. After rebounding from the 2008 financial recession, the economy is currently growing. The energy, industry, tourism, agriculture, technology, and transport sectors are among the key economic drivers.

Major industries

The following are the topnotch industries in France:

Energy sector

The energy sector is one of France’s key sectors. Electricite de France (EDF), the largest utility business globally, is France’s largest electricity provider. Engie, a utility corporation with headquarters in Courbevoie, France, is another significant player when it comes to the energy sector. The biggest independent utility firm globally, Engie engages in a variety of businesses, including the production and distribution of natural gas, nuclear power, and the distribution of electricity. After acquiring Solairedirect in July 2015, Engie rose to the position of leading solar energy provider here. Total S.A., a different French company, ranks among the world’s biggest oil and gas firms. The corporation, which has its headquarters in Paris, also runs service stations all around the world and manufactures chemicals.

Production and technology

France’s manufacturing sector ranks among the greatest, contributing significantly to the GDP of the nation. Peugeot and Renault, two of the biggest automakers globally, are based in the nation, which is ranked as the fourth-largest automaker globally. It is recognized for its aerospace industry, which Airbus, the top aircraft maker globally, controls. It is one of the most technologically developed, and the nation offers the best conditions for technical innovation and research. The expansion of some of the biggest technology companies in the world has been facilitated by this atmosphere. For instance, Publicis, a business with its headquarters here, is the third-largest advertising agency worldwide. The main technical center is a sizable technology park called Sophia Antipolis.

Transport industry

 It is a multi-billion dollar business, and some of its major participants are well-known international corporations. The cities are connected by one of the world’s densest networks of highways and railways. There are 18,580 miles of railway in France, with SNCF running most of them (French National Railway Corporation). However, Alstom, which is headquartered in Saint-Ouen but conducts business globally and has assets worth over $37 billion, is the biggest player in the French railway transportation industry. While Rennes, Lille, and Toulouse have small metro systems, Paris, Marseille, and Lyon have large metro systems. With a total of 478 airports located around the nation. Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris, which receives around 60 million people annually and is the sixth busiest airport globally, and the busiest airport in the nation. The national airline of France, Air France, offers flights to 150 cities on all six continents.


Prior to the Industrial Revolution in the late 19th century, France’s principal economic activity had historically been agriculture. Only the United States exports more agricultural goods than France, which is the second-largest country in the world. The northern area of France is home to huge wheat farms, whereas the southern region is known for its vineyards and horticulture goods. In addition to being the world’s second-biggest producer of cheese and wine, it is the world’s largest grower of sugar beets. The primary region for the production of dairy, poultry, apples, and pork is western France. The European Union, which receives 49% of all agricultural exports from France, is the final destination of the vast majority of agricultural exports. The French agriculture sector enjoys the benefit of getting significant EU support in the form of subsidies totaling more than $11 billion. Due to international agreements like the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, the industry has recently undergone a number of adjustments.


With 85.7 million visitors annually, France is the most popular travel destination in the world. France is currently ranked sixth in the world in terms of tourist spending because of its high visitor flow. According to the 86.4 million nights spent by German visitors in 2014, Germany is the top destination for foreign tourists. The sector accounts for 9.7% of the nation’s GDP. Numerous top tourist destinations spread out across France are responsible for the country’s popularity with visitors. Paris, the capital of the country, is one of these attractions, as are tiny, charming hamlet towns. The Eiffel Tower in Paris is one of the 37 UNESCO World Heritage Sites spread around France and is the most visited paid monument in the entire world.