A strong technology infrastructure and financing environment have helped to boost France’s ranking in the Grant Thornton Global Dynamism Index (GDI) which ranks the business growth environments of 60 leading economies. The country ranks 23= overall, although this masks significant variation in national strengths.

High broadband adoption rates and strong R&D spending help to rank France 13 for technology. The country also scores ranks highly for its financing environment (raising 7 places to rank 10) due to a well-regulated financial system and easy access to medium-term capital for companies. However, slow growth across the Eurozone has hindered the country’s overall ranking.

Globally, Singapore offers the best business growth environment for dynamic businesses according to the GDI as a result of a strong financing and regulatory environment. Israel (rank 2) has also risen six places this year. Australia (rank 3=) drops two places but still ranks in the top five for business operating environment and labour market. Finland (rank 3=) and Sweden (rank 5) have both risen slightly, due to favourable business operating environments and an advanced technology infrastructure.

Perception vs reality

Further analysis shows that the opportunities in France might not be fully appreciated by international business leaders. According to Grant Thornton’s International Business Report (IBR) survey, businesses expanding or considering expanding into France do not always recognise the benefits of operating in the country.

Nearly two-thirds (63%) of businesses leaders see France as a ‘key market’. However, 66% say that they chose to expand because the market simply felt like a good fit. Meanwhile, despite the country’s strong financial environment, over a third (37%) of international business leaders cite financial risk and uncertainty as a major challenge.

On the other hand, the joint most popular barrier to operating in France is the inability to find the right workers (45% of respondents). The country ranks 40 for labour market in the GDI.

Local market spokesperson, said: “In a globalised world, businesses looking for opportunities in dynamic markets must consider a range of economic, social and political factors when making decisions. They must balance instinct with reason, perception with reality.

“France provides many attractive opportunities. Investors recognise this opportunity but may not be able to clearly articulate their reasons for expanding. However, as advisors to dynamic businesses, it’s our job to make sure firms have the full facts at their disposal when making key decisions.

“The business world is always changing, with the realities on the ground often surprising business leaders who take a closer look. In order to maximise growth potential, business leaders need to refresh their perceptions of foreign markets in line with the market insights at their disposal. Once in tandem, better decisions can be made.”