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France at a glance

France at a glance

The heart of Europe

France is one of Europe’s largest countries. The heart of Europe, France is bordered by six countries – Germany, Belgium and Luxembourg to the northeast, Switzerland and Italy to the southeast and Spain to the southwest. The United Kingdom borders France via the English Channel. The country is considered to be the gateway to Europe as there are several large international airports (two of these can be found in Paris), ferry terminals and the French rail service.

France is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world. It has a picturesque landscape, amazing architecture, a rich history and culture and a comforting cuisine. What’s more, even the Summer Olympics in 2024 will be held in Paris.

France has the world’s sixth-largest economy. Its gross domestic product ranks second in Europe, and the country is Europe’s second-largest market, with 66 million consumers1. France is also the world’s fourth-largest exporter of services2 and Europe’s leading destination for manufacturing investments3. France ranks fifth in the world in the responsiveness of its health services to the needs of the population4.

This country is also a world class economic power. 31 out of world’s 500 largest corporations (Fortune Global 500, 2014) are from France. Many global giants are French in origin like Airbus (aeronautics), Total (energy), Orange (telecommunications), Sanofi (healthcare), LVMH (luxury goods), L’Oreal (Cosmetics) and Danone (food).

  1. (IMF 2014, Eurostat 2014)
  2. (OMC, 2013)
  3. (EY, 2014)
  4. (IMD, 2014)