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France business prospects, despite Europe’s sovereign debt crisis, remain optimistic. While state enterprise retains considerable influence over key segments of the of the economy – particularly power, public transport, telecommunications and defense – there has been a gradual relaxing of control over these sectors since the early 1990s. The government is slowly corporatizing the state sector and selling off holdings in France Telecom, Air France, as well as the insurance, banking, and defense industries, in a transition to an economy that relies more on market mechanisms. Home to numerous Fortune Global 500 companies, key sectors include manufacturing (telecommunications, aerospace, shipbuilding, textiles, construction, civil engineering, pharmaceuticals, automobiles and defense), energy (primarily nuclear), agriculture (EU’s leading ag producer), and tourism (most visited country in the world).

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