France is one of the largest economies in Europe and the world. With an estimated GDP of $2.6 Trillion in 2015 based on purchasing power parity the French economy is the 11th largest in the world.
France is a major player in international trade.Similar to other major developed European nations France trades with a diversified set of countries. The following chart shows the export and import partners of France based on 2014 data:
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The chart below shows the French export categories:
Source: Country in the Spotlight – France On a slippery path, ING
A few observations:
The top three countries for French exports were Germany (16.8% of total), U.S. (8.8%) and Belgium (8.6%). Since Germany is the largest economy in Europe it is not surprising that Germany is the top destination for French exports.
China accounts for only 5.5% of the total exports. This shows that France does not depend heavily on China from a trade perspective.
The top three source countries for French imports were Germany (19.2% of total), China (9.6%) and Belgium (9.0%).
Since Germany is the largest trade partner in terms of both exports and imports, the economies of these countries are highly dependent on each other.
The top three categories of French exports are road vehicles and transport equipment (20.3% of total), non-transport manufactured goods (18.4%), and chemicals (12.9%). Though pharmaceuticals account for only 6.3% of exports, it is projected to grow substantially in the next few years.
In terms of opportunities for investment, some of the major French firms trading on the US markets are Sanofi (SNY) in the pharma industry, Valeo SA (VLEEY) in the auto components business, oil giant TOTAL S.A. (TOT), Air Liquide (AIQUY ) in the chemicals sector, Danone (DANOY), etc. The full list of French ADRs can be found here.
Disclosure: No Positions