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France is one of the leading economies in the world and a central hub for businesses in the European region. The country’s economy ranks behind the UK and Germany in Europe, making it one of the more prospective regions for companies.
However, like most countries globally, the French economy suffered severe blows during the COVID-19 pandemic. Thanks to lockdowns and movement restrictions, the output from the industries declined considerably, bringing down the economy during the last two years or so.
Thanks to impressive planning and crisis handling, nonetheless, the French economy is on the rise yet again. As a result, a rapidly growing number of UK businesses intends to approach this global market in the near future. Yet, in order to successfully communicate your message with the market and your potential customers, you must approach them directly in their native language. Brands and organisations from the Untied Kingdom fully understand this, and so working with an expert language translation agency is incorporated into many companies’ annual budgets in 2022.
The Effects of the COVID-19 Pandemic on the French Economy
France was one of the most severely affected countries during the COVID-19 pandemic. Interestingly, the pandemic disclosed the structural weaknesses in governance and health systems in the country. France had more than 28,000,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases. As a result, more than 145,000 people died due to COVID-19. At a point, France experienced more than 1400 deaths per day. It’s one of the most significant figures across the globe.
Ultimately, the pandemic showed its impacts on the other industries too.
While there may be several intense effects of COVID-19 on the French economy, recession remained the biggest challenge for the country. Since the country’s production capability slowed down, it impacted its economy. So, naturally, there were fears of unemployment and businesses shutting down.
Response to First COVID-19 Wave
France’s response wasn’t different from other countries during the first wave. The immediate actions included a complete lockdown. It was mainly due to the lack of preparation for dealing with the pandemic.
Also, France has a highly hospital-centric healthcare setup. So, it added to the problems.
Dealing with the Second Wave
The response to the second wave was much better. There were more strategic decisions as the authorities understood health needs. Moreover, there was a better focus on socio-economic welfare to strengthen the economic condition. However, the loopholes in the healthcare setup remained a point of concern.
How the French Economy Rebounded After the Pandemic
Amidst all the chaos and economic challenges, France’s policies have enabled its economy to find its feet after nose-diving during the pandemic. So, the country’s economy was back to pre-COVID levels a few months back.
There was a 0.75% growth in the fourth quarter, and things have been relatively stable. Compared to the COVID-19 levels, the output was 0.5% higher. Interestingly, economists were surprised at how quickly they achieved these numbers. According to them, they didn’t expect the economy to strengthen so soon.
Therefore, one can assume that France is back on track to achieving economic stability, which is a healthy sign for the running and prospective businesses in the country.
Measures to Support Businesses After COVID-19
Many reasons have pushed the stability of the French economy. First, it took thoughtful planning and strategic decisions to come out of the crisis in such a short time. More importantly, the administration carried out decisions that could further help the economy grow.
Here are some of the critical aspects that France will focus on moving forward:
In 2021, France was placed 15th in the Digital Economy and Society Index. It was primarily networking coverage and fast broadband issues which hampered the growth of digital technologies in the country.
The country has plans for a budget of €8.4 billion, worth more than 21% of the French budget, to upgrade its digital services and transition to a digital world. It addresses different technological areas, including:
- Quantum computing
- Cloud Computing
- Digitalization of schools
- Digitalization of public services
- High-Speed broadband services
- High-speed networks for homes
Digitalization is the way forward for most businesses. So, it will also help local markets and service providers like translation services for the French market as more people turn up for business in the country through digital platforms. We have previously written about marketing tips for SMEs, you can read about them here.
France lags in ecological policies, so it needed to speed up its operations to achieve the goals set for 2030, especially the Fit for 55 Package. The package addresses greenhouse emissions and thermal renovation of buildings.
Moreover, it focuses on the transport sector thanks to a significant chunk of investment that targets green vehicles and modal shift to rails. Furthermore, it promises the production of green hydrogen to decarbonize the industry.
France is set to invest €18 billion in its green initiatives. These plans focus on:
- Sustainable transport
- Building renovations
- Research and Development on green technologies.
Tourism is one of the leading industries in France. Unfortunately, it was also one of the most severely damaged sectors during the COVID-19 pandemic. But like most other industries, the government has set plans to ease out loan payments for businesses.
The finance minister, in meeting with hotel and tourism professionals, explained that the government would aid businesses as part of their post-pandemic measures.
Companies who opt for a loan can pay it back in a repayment plan. The extension is granted for ten years, previously for six years. Moreover, the first payment due date is pushed to the end of 2022 instead of March 2022.
Since there are nearly 30,000 small companies with shop owners, tradespeople, and restaurant owners, the ease of payments can help businesses get back on track.
Social and Economic Resilience
The social and economic resilience plan focuses on improved social outcomes. It focuses on youth, skill development, and reduction in unemployment to ensure growth in the economy. Moreover, it focuses on the disparities in the healthcare sector too.
So, the French authorities are set to introduce jobs and training for youth, thanks to a € 4.6 billion budget. It primarily focuses on inclusive education systems that will include apprenticeships, places in boarding schools, hiring subsidies, and reinforcing public employment services.
Moreover, there are measures for better healthcare governance as France is now investing in e-health. There is a €2.5 billion budget dedicated to quality health care and access to services for older people.
France has taken some critical decisions to upgrade its economy in the last couple of years, and its impacts are already showing. Therefore, it’s now an attractive place for business owners belonging to any niche. Moreover, with the right resources and access to French translation services, it can be easier for potential business owners to enter and succeed in the French market.