The Greater Paris Region Economy

The Greater Paris Region is the no. 1 economy in Europe

Paris is both the political and economic capital of France. With a GDP of €649 billion, it accounted for 30% of the wealth generated in France in 2014 and its weighting in the overall French economy has increased in recent years. The Greater Paris Region is also the no. 1 economy in Europe and accounts for around 5% of European GDP.

The region’s economy displays the specific characteristics of a large global city. The economy is largely based on the tertiary sector which accounted for 87% of added value generated in the Greater Paris Region. The weight of the tertiary sector is 10 points above the average for other regions (75%) and this is largely due to the presence of major company headquarters and the scale of both the financial and business services sectors. However, there is much less industrial activity in the Greater Paris Region than in the rest of the country.

Preferred location for major companies

Due to its size, its economy and its diverse infrastructure, Paris and the surrounding region form the natural destination for major companies – be they French or international.

According to KPMG’s “Global Cities Investment Monitor” in 2016, the Greater Paris Region was the 2nd largest centre for investment in Europe after London. According to this classification, the region was also ranked 5th in the world as New-York and Hong Kong have rose their rank on the KPMG.

According to Forbes’ “Fortune Global 500” classification, 29 of the 31 largest French companies have their headquarters in the Greater Paris Region and generate an annual revenue of over $2 billion. More widely, a third of these top 500 global companies also have a head office in the region. Globally, Paris is ranked third in terms of the number of major companies and is number 1 in Europe, placing it ahead of its main competitors such as London or New York.

A diverse economy, open to international trade

Even with a strong tertiary focus, the Greater Paris Region’s economy is diverse and includes major companies that are leaders in their field such as aeronautics/aerospace, information technology, telecommunications, bio-technology and science as well as the environment.There are also many industrial companies that are either headquartered in Greater Paris or have production sites in the region.

The region is also a hub for international trade in France and, in particular, is the entry point for imports into France. The region alone accounts for a quarter of all imports and around 20% of the country’s exports. Even though the majority of trade is with European countries, the United States and China are also among the region’s preferred economic partners.

In terms of business activity, on the one hand there are the major French groups in the CAC 40, virtually all of which are located in Paris, which generate most of their turnover internationally (around 75%). On the other hand, there are around 13,000 foreign companies which account for around half a million jobs in the region (16% of employment). Amongst these foreign companies, the most common nationalities are British, German and American.