Foreign investors fall back in love with Paris

Oliver Gee
Oliver Gee - [email protected]
Foreign investors fall back in love with Paris
The La Défense business district of Paris, where much of the foreign investment is based. Photo: Trey Ratcliffe/Flickr

Two new studies have revealed that foreign investors are once again being charmed by Paris after having been turned off for a while. Although the City of Light will have to do some major flirting to match the kind of investment seen in London and Shanghai.


A benchmarking study by KPMG on the best cities for foreign investors has found that the French capital appears to have regained its economic attractiveness, leaping four spots from previous 7th place, slipping past the likes of New York, Hong Kong and Sao Paulo.
This means that in the new 2015 monitor, published this week, Paris ranked third out of 25 major cities after London and Shanghai as an attractive destination for foreign companies that was based on the number of new international investments.
KPMG tallied up 170 examples of foreign investments in just the city of Paris, "meaning activities that created jobs and new business", KPMG specifies.
And a separate study revealed that there were 368 foreign investment projects in the whole of the Ile de France region last year, which reflects a 32 percent rise on 2013, the news site 20 Minutes reports.
"Paris, which experienced a crisis of confidence, has regained credibility with foreign investors," said KPMG's Nicolas Beaudouin.
But to put it in a little perspective, London saw 359 new investment projects and Shanghai 267, so Paris still has some serious charming to do to attract those kind of numbers.
In the KPMG study Paris scored well across the board, especially in the ranking of the number of new investments in strategic functions, where it rose from 8th place last year to third - an increase only matched by Dublin which moved up to 5th place.
Jay Nirsimloo, the CEO of KPMG, explained that Paris fared well thanks to the quality of its infrastructure, the availability of talent, and the quality of life - which work together to attract job-creating investments and new businesses. 
The report found that international investors in Paris come mainly from within Europe -  51 percent, with 36 percent coming from North America, 9 percent from Asia, and 2 percent from the Middle East.
The news may come as a welcome relief for the French, where doom and gloom have plagued the economy in recent years.
The government has scrambled to kickstart the country's economy this year, pushing through controversial new reforms to tackle an unemployment rate that suffered an almost 6-percent rise from 2013 to 2014. 
And there is doubtless a wealth of available talent, with 3.48 million people claiming jobless benefits in January alone
Tuesday's study was carried out for the Greater Paris Investment Agency, a non-profit organization established by the Paris Chamber of Commerce.
KPMG says the monitor was designed to provide international decision makers with arguments on which to base their future investments.


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