The economy of France is the seventh largest in the world and the third-largest in Europe according to the nominal figures by IMF estimates of 2017. Second to Germany, France is the second largest exporter in Europe and the sixth largest in the world. The chemical industry in the country plays an important role in promoting the other manufacturing sectors which contribute to high export products. Much of exports from France include several valuable commodities such as machines and transport equipment, aircraft, plastic, pharmaceuticals, metal, and consumer goods. Most of French foreign trade is conducted with the European partners such as the UK, Germany, Spain, and Italy.
Export Indicators And Statistics
France exported about US$488 billion worth of goods around the international market in 2016, signifying a 5.3% increase since the Great Recession kicked in and a 1.1% drop compared to 2015. Export accounted for about 18% of French total economic output. From the international perspective, 65% of the country’s total exports by values are delivered to the European market while 17% are sold to the Asian market. France also exports 8.9% to North America and a further 5.8% to the African market. The export to European market increased slightly in 2016 due to the increasing deliveries to Germany and Italy. The manufacturing industry is the largest exporter in the country accounting for about 27% of France GDP. The exceptional growth of export in the country between 2009 and 2016 has been aided by the structural reforms which have been put in place by the government that promotes every aspect of the foreign trade.
Exports And Exporting Partners
The top French exports of aircraft, helicopter and spacecraft collectively amounted to $53.2 billion or 10.9% of the total export. Following behind were packaged medicament ($30.1 billion), cars and vehicle parts ($45.9 billion), electrical machinery (39.2 billion), and beverages and wines ($16.5 billion). Aircraft and spacecraft remain the fastest gaining-product category having grown by 54% between 2009 and 2016. Beverages and spirits export grew by 21.8% propelled by the sales of French wine, beer, and vermouth. Germany is France's top export destination, contributing $72.3 billion of export value or 16.7% of the total export. Other major export destinations include the UK, the US, Belgium, China, and Italy. The principle exports to the US include aircraft and engines, electrical machines, beverages, chemicals, and cosmetics. Major exports to Germany include aircraft, vehicles, machinery, electronic equipment, pharmaceutical, and iron and steel.
French Product Space
French has an economic complexity index of 1.43, making it the 14th most economically complex country in the world. Its economic complexity has decreased eight places over the past 53 years from 6th in 1964. The country exported 454 products in 2016, revealing a comparative advantage suggesting that its share of export is larger than the expected considering the size of the economy and that of its product’s global market. However, France continues to register a negative balance of trade due to higher import value compared to the export value. The cash flow deficiencies brought about by the negative balance of trade are key opportunities for France to improve its position in the global economy through focused innovation.