France Country Performance, Economic Competitiveness, Brand Image and Reputation

France: how does La Grande Nation perform in global rankings measuring talent attraction potential, public diplomacy, soft power strength and environmental sustainability? How is Emmanuel Macron’s governing influencing the international reputation of France? Let’s delve deeper into how France positions itself on the world stage, drawing insights from data provided by TPBO partners and other reputable institutions.

Let’s take a closer look at:

  • France’s soft power and brand strength
  • Its appeal to skilled labor, investors and visitors
  • The country’s global contribution to peace and wellbeing
  • How well it fares in terms of happiness and sustainability

France’s soft power and brand strength

How does France compare in terms of reputation and brand value globally? 

In the Global Soft Power Index 2023 by Brand Finance, France secures the 6th spot, slightly trailing Japan (4th) and China (5th). Impressively, France’s score has shown growth, rising from 60.6 in 2022 to 62.4 out of 100. Despite this improvement, the nation remains in 6th overall position this year as the top five nations have all experienced a score increase.

France is highly regarded for its familiarity, international relations, and rich culture and heritage, earning the 2nd position in Arts & Entertainment, Food, and Tourism. However, the 2023 Global Soft Power Index notes a slight dip in France’s Business & Trade score, suggesting a need for improvement in this sector.

While the nation’s reputation remains stable, its influence is on the decline, posing challenges in mobilizing other nations to address essential aspects of developing a sustainable world. Despite France’s advocacy for climate issues, there’s a pressing need to enhance perceptions in Business & Trade to safeguard its Soft Power advantage in the future.

In the U.S. News Best Countries 2023 ranking, France secures the 12th position, behind the Netherlands (10th) and Norway (11th). Notably, France excels in three key areas: cultural influence (2nd), heritage (4th), and power (7th). However, France dropped three positions from 2022, with lowest scores in movers and open for business factors.

The Anholt-Ipsos Nation Brand Index (NBI) calculates its ranking based on averaging the scores of six different factors: exports, governance, tourism, culture, people and immigration, and tourism. According to the NBI 2023 ranking France secures the 8th position, a drop of three positions since 2022.

Talent in France

How competitive is France for attracting and retaining talent?

The World Economic Forum Global Competitiveness Index 2019 edition placed France at the 13th position among 141 countries. However, it’s important to note that an updated version of this report hasn’t been released in the past five years, and rankings may have shifted since then.

France, classified as a high-income country within the European regional group, currently holds the 19th position in the Global Talent Competitiveness Index 2023. Notably, France performs most remarkably in the Grow pillar where it holds the 7th position and its main challenge is the Attract and Vocational and Technical Skills pillars where it ranked 25th in both.

In terms of education excellence, France boasts four universities within the top 100 worldwide, according to the World University Rankings 2024. These esteemed institutions are: Paris Sciences et Lettres – PSL Research University Paris, Université Paris-Saclay, Institut Polytechnique de Paris and Sorbonne University.

France’s appeal to digital nomads, business, trade and travel 

What is the global perception of France as a destination for living, conducting business, and tourism?

The Expat Insider 2023 ranks France in 33rd position out of 53 countries, below Qatar (31st) and Cyprus (32nd). However, France ranks 6th in the Healthcare metric and 14th in the Quality of Life metric.

As per the UNCTAD World Investment Report 2023, France secures the 10th position for FDI inflows in 2022, trailing behind India (8th) and Sweden (9th). This marks an increase of two positions compared to its 2021 ranking. This success can be attributed to the large M&A deals and increased investment in greenfield projects. In terms of FDI outflows, France ranks 12th in 2022, a slight increase from its 13th position in 2021, while the levels of FDI remain more or less consistent with the previous year, MNEs’ investment have increased.

The Bloom Consulting biannual Country Brand Ranking Trade Edition 2022-2023 assesses investment-related variables, emphasizing perceptions of a country’s trade-specific brand and evaluating branding performance. Regionally, France continues to place 2nd behind the United Kingdom (1st) and above Germany (3rd) and Russia (4th). Globally, France secures the 4th position, a jump of two positions since the previous report.

In addition, the Bloom Consulting Country Brand Ranking Tourism Edition 2022-2023 places France at the 9th global position, scoring the same as the previous year and trailing behind Australia (6th) and Hong Kong (8th). Regionally, France now holds the 5th position, experiencing a drop of one position, falling behind Germany (3rd) and the United Kingdom (4th).

In the IMD 2023 World Competitiveness Ranking, France secured the 33rd position, showing a slight shift from its 28th ranking in 2022 and 29th in 2021. Currently, it sits just behind New Zealand (31st) and Lithuania (32nd) while surpassing Indonesia (34th) and Japan (35th).

In terms of specific characteristics, France’s economic performance dropped six positions to the 24th spot in 2023. It holds the 47th position for government efficiency, experiencing a drop of seven positions compared to 2022. Lastly, France drops four positions to the 33rd position for business efficiency, and holds the 17th spot for infrastructure, dropping two positions since 2022.

According to the European Innovation Scoreboard 2023, France belongs to the second group, Strong Innovators, whereas Belgium, Denmark, Finland, the Netherlands, and Sweden are Innovation Leaders in the region. France’s performance has decreased by -1.6% points during the period between 2016 and 2023.

Its strengths are Foreign doctorate students, Government support for business R&D, Resource productivity, Population with tertiary education and Innovative SMEs collaborating with others. While weaknesses are Sales of innovative products, Non-R&D Innovation expenditures, Enterprises providing ICT training, Design applications and Trademark applications.

How “good” is France?

In the Caf World Giving Index 2023, France secured the 88th position, showcasing a jump of 12 positions from the previous year. Notably, France performs most admirably in the subfactor of helping a stranger where 40% of its adult population helped a stranger in the past year.

In the Good Country Index, France currently holds the 9th position overall, with notable subfactors as follows: Science & Technology (32nd), Culture (20th), International Peace & Security (31st), World Order (23rd), Planet & Climate (23rd), Prosperity & Equality (8th), and Health & Wellbeing (23rd). It’s worth mentioning that in 2022, France was ranked 7th, and in 2021, it held the 9th position. While the country has experienced a two point drop since the 2022 ranking, there has been a significant increase in the International Peace & Security factor.

According to the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) Democracy Index 2023, France ranked in the blue zone (8-9 range) with a 8.07 out of 10. This is higher than the United States who scored a 7.85 and Portugal 7.89 but lower than the United Kingdom and Germany who scored 8.28 and 8.8.

The 2022 Corruption Perception Index, ranks France 21st with a score of 72/100, below Belgium, Japan and the United Kingdom which all tied for the 18th position with a score of 73. France’s score has increased by one since 2021. 

The Sustainable Development Report 2023 ranks France in 6th position, it highlights that France, although in the top ten, some significant and major challenges are still to be overcome. However, the no poverty factor has achieved the status of SDG achievement with a continuous moderate increase, France is also on track for gender equality and partnerships for the goals factors.

France and sustainability

How environmentally sustainable is France?

The 2022 edition of the Environmental Performance Index (EPI) ranks France 12th, sitting between the Netherlands (11th) and Germany (13th). The EPI analyzes the performance of 180 countries, scoring and ranking these countries on their environmental performance using the most recent year of data available as well as providing calculable changes in scores over the previous decade. France has experienced a change in score of positive 6.4.

Peace and happiness in France

Is France a happy and safe place to invest time and money in?

The Global Peace Index 2023 ranks France 67th, remaining consistent from last years’ index. France sits behind Cyprus (64th), Serbia (65th) and Armenia (66th). France falls under the medium sector of the ‘State of Peace’ spectrum as defined by the Institute for Economics & Peace. France positioned third last (34th) regionally amongst its fellow European countries, led by Iceland and Denmark.

The Institute for Economics & Peace similarly ranks France within the high impact (dark orange) zone in terms of ‘Impact of Terrorism’ in the 2022 Global Terrorism Index. France ranks 34th, sitting in between Palestine (33rd) and Germany (35th).

Meanwhile, the World Happiness Report 2023 which displays the Ranking of Happiness based on a three-year-average 2020–2022 ranks France 21st.

Last updated in October 2023. More country profiles here.

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