The aerospace industry is the most important segment in French manufacturing, followed by the automotive and pharmaceutical sectors. The French aerospace industry recorded revenues of US$69 billion (S$93 billion) in 2017, thanks to the strong performance of its leading companies in aircraft and equipment manufacturing: Airbus, Dassault, Safran, and Thales1.
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 The Global Aerospace Industry: Size & Country Rankings, Teal Group and AeroDynamic, July 2018
France has made great strides to transform into a more significant player on the global tech scene. It has made significant progress in building its digital economy, moving up two places to 16th in the 2017 Digital Economy and Society Index (DESI).
The country has also laid out its international digital strategy which is both a framework and roadmap that is centred around three key focus areas: governance, the economy and security.
Ride on Singapore’s strategic partnerships with France in science and engineering, and the push for digital transformation, to enter the French market. Both countries are committed to cooperate and to jointly build capabilities. This would be in the areas of big data analytics, cyber security, digital industrial applications, infrastructure development, or smart cities.
Your business can take advantage of these ties and make direct investments in France, either by collaborating on projects in Asia or in France, or by licensing French technology to enhance capability building.
France has a thriving startup ecosystem that is ranked ahead of the UK for venture capital deals in 20172.
Driving this ecosystem is a sizeable talent pool of over 460,000 developers3, and a strong entrepreneurial zeal. France was ranked 10th in the 2018 standings, out of 137 countries on their ability to offer a healthy entrepreneurship ecosystem4.
Support from the French government has helped to build the startup ecosystem. For example, the “La French Tech” government initiative has supported the French startup ecosystem both in France and internationally. The government also offers research tax credits that cover up to 30% of R&D expenditure or up to €100 million (S$155 million).
An 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.
France’s thriving startup scene has resulted in an estimated 3,500 startups in Paris5, with French startups making a name for themselves.
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.
Consider working with French technology companies and ride on the 2018 France-Singapore Year of Innovation which aims to deepen collaboration between the Singaporean and French innovation ecosystems. You can explore leveraging the support infrastructure and innovative ecosystems in both Singapore and France as a launchpad for your company’s growth into Europe.
2 State of European Tech 2017, Atomico, 2017
3 Software Developers in Europe & the World, nexten.io, 2018
4 2018 Global Entrepreneurship Index, The Global Entrepreneurship and Development Institute (GEDI), 2017
5 Observatoire des startups françaises, French Tech/EY, 2017
France is an economically developed nation with a large, diverse and sophisticated market of 66 million consumers.
With a relatively affluent population, France’s GDP per capita was US$39,900 (S$53,865) in 20176. As world leaders in fashion and food products, the French consumer has mature and discerning preferences. The French are keen consumers of services, particularly in the cultural, digital, educational, and travel areas. Explore opportunities in this space to introduce your brand to the French market.
Widely regarded as the fashion capital of the world with renowned fashion brands, the French consumer market is an attractive one for your company in the fashion design business. France makes an ideal springboard for your fashion brand to penetrate the European or global market.
Besides being avid fashion consumers, the French are also known for their sophisticated taste in food. As a food manufacturer, establishing your business in France is one way to ease your business into Europe. SIAL Paris, the world’s largest food innovation exhibition, is one avenue for your food business to enter the French market.
6 Statista, 2018
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