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Investment framework and opportunities in France

Procedures Relative to Foreign Investment

Freedom of Establishment
Yes. The formal investment regime remains among the least restrictive in the world.
Acquisition of Holdings
Possible.
Obligation to Declare
All foreign investments must be declared to the French Central Bank (for statistical reasons). The majority of foreign investments must also be declared to the Public Treasury, which can check whether or not prior authorisation is required. In France, the FDI screening mechanism is based on the prior authorisation of the Minister of the Economy, the details of the procedure are specified in Article L151-3 of the French Monetary and Financial Code. The prior authorisation of the Minister of Economy is required for any foreign investment in an activity involving "sensitive industries" (e.g. energy, water supply and public health). A Decree dated November 29, 2018 that became effective on January 1, 2019 has enlarged the list of sectors in which foreign investments must be subject to prior authorization to include aerospace, cybersecurity, artificial intelligence, robotics, additive manufacturing, semi-conductors, hosting of sensitive data. In particular, the law on the growth and transformation of businesses, known in France as the PACTE law, published in the Official Gazette on 23 May 2019, reshaped and extended the French prior authorisation procedure, granting the Minister of the Economy the powers of injunction. The PACTE law was supplemented by a decree and an order of 31 December 2019. In the context of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the control of foreign investments is being enhanced. New provisions have been adopted, resulting from a decree and order dated 22 July 2020, include both permanent and temporary measures aimed at protecting the most sensitive French companies.
Competent Organisation For the Declaration
General Directorate of the Treasury of the Ministry of Economy, Finance and Recovery
Requests For Specific Authorisations
Some sectors are subject to procedures to obtain prior authorisation: gambling; private security; research and development activities on pathogenic or toxic agents; phone-tapping systems; information technologies; information systems security; goods and technologies with a dual use; means of cryptology in the digital economy; companies holding national defence secrets; the arms trade and companies, which have concluded a contract with the Ministry of Defence.

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Investment Opportunities

Investment Aid Agency
Business France (national agency supporting the international development of the French economy)
Tenders, Projects and Public Procurement
BOAMP, French Public Procurements (in French)
Tenders Info, Tenders in France
Ted - European public markets, Business opportunities in the EU
MPF, Public markets and projects in France
Other Useful Resources
Bpifrance (The French Public Investment Bank)
The French Chamber of Commerce and Industry network (CCI)
Guichet Entreprises (French government agency)
Les-Aides.fr (Online guide on support  to businesses)

Find out more about Investment Service Providers in France on GlobalTrade.net, the Directory for International Trade Service Providers.

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Latest Update: May 2022

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