While often overshadowed by Germany and Japan, especially in the auto sector, France still ranks among the top five nations for job-creating investment in Georgia, with a heavy emphasis on coveted manufacturing and research projects.
That’s according to a report released this month by the French Treasury in the U.S., which used 2019 data to take stock of the longtime allies’ economic partnership in 2020.
The state-by-state breakdown showed France sneaking in at No. 5 in Georgia for job creation, mirroring its ranking at the national level, where French companies have invested a stock of $310.7 billion, creating 780,000 jobs. France sits just behind Canada on the list, with its job-creation total growing 23 percent in the last five years.
Within Georgia alone, French firms are responsible for 23,300 jobs, with companies like Airbus, Groupe PSA, Michelin, Imerys, Safran, Saint-Gobain and many more racking up projects over time.
Meanwhile, bilateral trade with the state grew to $3.4 billion, an increase of 18 percent over 2018, with Georgia exporting $691 million to France, 40 percent of which took the form of transportation equipment and another 19 percent of chemicals. Georgia imported $2.7 billion from the country in planes, pharmaceuticals, electronics, chemicals, food and more. The two countries traded a total of $139 billion in goods and services.
“These remarkable figures remind us of the depth of the trade and investment ties between our two countries, shaped over the years by common values such as democracy, freedom, entrepreneurship and fair trade,” French Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire said in a foreword from the report. He noted that France would work closely with the new Biden administration on “securing global value chains … addressing climate change and strengthening bilateral and multilateral cooperation frameworks.”
The report spotlighted Orange, the French telecoms provider, as a key investor in Atlanta, where it operates a North American headquarters and one of three cybersecurity operations centers.
While a majority are in services, one-third of all French subsidiaries are in the manufacturing sector, creating a combined total of 227,600 direct factory jobs. France accounted for 45 percent of all European foreign direct investment in manufacturing in 2019.
The country is a steady contributor to the vitality of research and development in the U.S. spending nearly $5.5 billion in the sector last year, nearly 90 percent of it on manufacturing. That puts France at No. 5 again by this metric, just behind Germany and ahead of the Netherlands.
Read the full report and see state-specific fact sheets here.
Contact the Consulate General of France in Atlanta here.