Today, things are looking up. France has elected a new centrist president, Emmanuel Macron – the youngest president in French history. A fresh face in the hot seat has contributed to a renewed sense of vigor and optimism in the French economy, including a record stretch of growth.
France’s growth has accelerated, but more importantly, it’s been consistently healthy for some time. The French economic engine has now been powering forward for ten consecutive quarters, representing its strongest performance since 2008.
Meanwhile, President Macron has already enacted a number of measures designed to improve both domestic and international trade.
If you’re a business looking to export to foreign markets, France should certainly be on your list. It’s the second largest country by population in Europe after Germany.
It’s also a great opportunity for online e-commerce. While internet penetration is high, the percentage of internet users buying online has been relatively low, at around 50-60%.
But there are signs this is expanding fast. Consumer e-commerce in France in 2015 stood at around US$52bn, and is predicted to be worth US$64bn in 2018 – a 23% uplift in just three years. This US$4bn-a-year growth makes it one of the French economy’s standout performers, yet it still only accounts for 6% of total retail sales. Similar-sized countries have higher e-commerce usage, suggesting France is on the cusp of an e-commerce mini-boom.
France’s powerful open economy and easy access to the wider European Union makes it a top choice for any business looking to grow sales in an overseas market. Want to get involved? Our PDF guide to exporting to France is the ideal place to start.