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France given wake up call as it bids for Brexit business

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France given wake up call as it bids for Brexit business
The business district 'La Defense' in Paris. Photo: AFP
17:31 CEST+02:00
France is positioning itself to take advantage of companies jumping ship from the UK post Brexit but the country has just been given a reality check by the World Bank.

While the French government has already announced it will cut red tape and even allow documentation in English, the World Bank suggests France still has a long way to go before it is a country where doing business is easy.

In its global ranking Doing Business 2017 France was placed down in 29th position for the “ease of doing business”, one lower than the previous year’s position.

While 29 out of 190 doesn’t sound bad, when you consider the likes of Georgia, Macedonia and Latvia are ahead of France, it doesn’t look so rosy.

No disrespect to those countries, but it’s clearly not where France would want to be as it is desperate to see its economy grow and to woo business from Britain.

Germany was placed 17th and Great Britain was in 7th position. New Zealand topped the rankings.

While the French government has been trying its hardest to simplify regulations for businesses, they still face a cumbersome process in France, particularly when it comes to transferring ownership – France was ranked down in 100th position.

It takes on average 64 days to register a property in France compared to four days in Denmark.

Another example given by the World Bank is how the owner of a small or medium sized business in France spends around 138 hours each year filling in tax forms.

France was also ranked down in 82nd position when it came to getting a loan from a bank, an essential factor for anyone wanting to start a business.

And as one might have expected the tax rate on businesses in France is high, leaving it in 63rd position in that category.

But it wasn’t all bad news for France, the country actually finished in the number one spot when it came to trading across borders. It was also ranked 18th for enforcing contracts.

France was also credited for its judicial system where it takes a shorter time to resolve commercial disputes than in Germany.

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