The aerospace industry is the most important segment in French industrial manufacturing, followed by the automotive and pharmaceutical sectors. The French aerospace industry recorded revenues of EUR$74,4 billion (S$118 billion) in 20191, thanks to the strong performance of its leading companies in aircraft and equipment manufacturing: Airbus, Dassault, Safran, and Thales2.
Currently, France and the United States are the only countries to export airliners, business jets, helicopters, and fighter jets. France is also a main contributor to the European space industry.
Within France, the Paris Region is a centre of excellence for training aerospace engineers, researchers and technicians. The region also hosts several key exhibitions in this sector: The International Paris Air Show, Eurosatory and Euronaval.
If you are operating in the aerospace manufacturing sector, the French aerospace industry offers tremendous opportunities for you. Consider opportunities in supplying precision parts to European aerospace players in France and Europe or explore opportunities to participate in the many aerospace tradeshows hosted in France, such as Aeromart Toulouse, a biennial aerospace procurement business matching show.
1 GIFAS, Chiffres Clés, 2019
2 “The Global Aerospace Industry: Size & Country Rankings”, Teal Group and AeroDynamic, 2018
With one of the largest B2C markets in Europe, the e-commerce market in France is steadily growing and offers significant opportunities for foreign companies. Online sales have exceeded €100 billion last year, driven by 75% of the French population making regular online purchases. Fashion, leisure, and toys are popular categories in France, followed by consumer electronic and beauty products.
E-commerce sector in France is highly developed with a number of well-established key players. Besides Amazon, there are several generalist marketplaces that attract a large number of online shoppers, such as C-Discount, second most visited ecommerce website in France with 20 million visitors every month. There are also a growing number of online marketplaces specialised in fashion and beauty such as La Redoute. Singapore companies can work directly with these marketplaces or partner with local ecommerce enablers to assist with listing and channel management.
Additionally, French brands are also willing to expand their activities in Southeast Asia. With Singapore being widely recognised as a gateway to Asia, there are opportunities for Singapore e-commerce solution providers to collaborate with French consumer brands and assist with their market entry into the region.
France has a thriving startup ecosystem that is ranked third in Europe, ahead of the UK for venture capital deals in 20183.
France’s startup scene has resulted in an estimated 10,000 startups. Driving this ecosystem is a sizeable talent pool of over 533,300 developers, and a strong entrepreneurial zeal. France was ranked 14th in the 2019 standings, out of 137 countries on their ability to offer a healthy entrepreneurship ecosystem.
Government initiatives have helped France growth exponentially as an international tech hub in recent year. French tech visa introduced in 2017 aims to accelerate the process for international tech startup founders looking to settle in France. The government also offers research tax credits that cover up to 30% of staff costs including salaries and social contributions, and also 30% of depreciation of equipment used for R&D work.
Another example of the country’s ambition in this space is Station F, the world’s largest startup campus, which is a former railway station that now hosts startups, multinationals, and investors.
Enterprise Singapore has been working with the French startup ecosystem to explore supporting French deep tech startups to set up a base in Singapore, and for specific deep tech venture capitalists to start a fund in Singapore for investment.
3 State of European Tech 2017, Atomico, 2019
France is an economically developed nation with a large, diverse and sophisticated market of 66 million consumers.
As a top tourist destination with a largely diverse and affluent population, France makes an ideal springboard for international brands to penetrate the European or global market.
Widely regarded as the fashion and beauty capital of the world, Paris has been the base for many fashion and cosmetic companies to build their businesses. International companies can access to a large distribution network and attend international events that bring together the entire industries and professionals.
Examples of international lifestyle trade shows include Maison et Objet, a major event for home decoration and furniture, or Premiere Classe, a worldwide meeting point for fashion designers.
Finding commercial success in France can prove to be a strong reference point that would benefit your company profile and facilitate ease of expansion in future.
France is the world’s fifth largest economy, with a GDP of US$2,575 billion (S$3,476 billion) in 20177. The country plays a major role in international trade, and was the world’s seventh largest exporter of goods and the fourth largest exporter of services in 20168.
Capitalise on the growing opportunities in trade between Singapore and France. Consider partnering French commodity companies to use Singapore as the base for their regional or global trading activities and other strategic functions. Your expertise can help French firms gain from Singapore’s geographical proximity to Asian growth markets and our status as Asia’s largest commodity trading hub.
7 IMF, 2018
8 UNCTAD, 2017
If you are keen to explore partnerships with French companies or take your business to France, please reach out to us at go.gov.sg/helloesg.
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Find out what are some events your business can participate in France:
VivaTech: Startup and innovation
SIAL: International Food Exhibition
Aeromart: Procurement event for Aerospace