Foreign Investment Fell in France in 2012, Study Finds

France fell further behind Britain and Germany in 2012 in attracting foreign direct investment, according to consultant Ernst & Young.

The number of new investments in France fell 13 percent last year to 471 from 540 in 2011, according to the company’s annual European Investment Monitor. New investments in Britain rose 3 percent last year to 697, while in Germany they rose 4.5 percent to 624. Spain was in fourth place with 274 projects.

France remained the favorite European destination for U.S. investors, while Asian and other emerging-market investors increasingly preferred the U.K. and Germany, Ernst & Young said.

The cost of labor, taxes, and bureaucracy were the main arguments against investing in France, according to a survey of 212 international companies in 25 countries that accompanied the study. The quality of the workforce and infrastructures were France’s main strengths, the survey found.

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