French Republic or France is located in the western most region of the European continent. It is the third largest country in Europe. France is the largest country in the European Union in terms of its area. France is a member of G8, G20, Francophonie, NATO, Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), Latin Union and WTO. It is one of the founder members of European Union and United Nations.
France is one among the world’s developed countries. As per the GDP (Gross Domestic Productivity) nominal, France is the fifth largest country in the world and as per GDP-PPP (Purchasing power parity), it is the 8th largest country in the world. In 2009, the GDP-PPP of France was estimated as $ 2.113 Trillion and the GDP-PPP per capita was $ 32800. France is the second largest country in the Europe in terms of economic development. Thus, the French people lead a high standard of living. The France has a mixed economy with a well developed private sector and a well organized government sector going hand in hand.
France was able to withstand in a stable manner compared to other countries of European Union during the recession period with the help of its highly developed consumer base and strategic government spending.
France has a well developed industrial sector. The most advanced industries are in the field of automobile industry, Ship-building industry, aerospace industry, construction and civil sector, electronics, telecommunication, pharmaceutical industry, chemical, metallurgy, tourism industry, food processing etc. the France also has a well developed research and development sector which has contributed 2.26% of GDP. France ranks 4th in the world in term of manufacturing passenger cars. The chemical industry, especially the perfume industries of France, is well developed.
Agricultural sector of France is well developed compared to other European countries. The agricultural practices include crop production and live stock rearing. Agriculture and fishing sector accounts for about 7 % employment in the France. Agriculture is practiced in about three fifth of the total land area of France. In terms of agricultural production, France is ranked 6th in the world. The agricultural products of France are also exported to other countries in a high rate. Thus France is the second largest country in the world in terms of export. The agricultural sector of France mostly depends on the subsidies provided by the European Union.
The most important agricultural crop products grown in France are wheat, barley, oats, corn and sugar-beet. The climatic condition of France is also well suited for apple cultivation. Live stock rearing has also added a lot towards the country’s economy. Live stock rearing includes poultry, sheep, goat, cattle, pigs etc. Among all other European Union Countries, France is the leading producer of poultry, cattle, dairy products, veal and beef.
France is one of the major tourist destinations of the world and is often ranked 1st in the world. In 2007, the total number of tourists who visited France was estimated to be 81.9 million. The tourism department has contributed a lot towards the countries economy. The Major tourism attraction sites of France are Eiffel Tower, Palace of Versailles, Louvre Museum, Centre Pompidou, Sainte Chapelle, Carcassonne, and Arc de Triomphe etc.
The trade in France includes both wholesale and retail sector. Both export and import is of equal importance in French economy. The two most important ports in France which made the trade easier are Marseille and Le Havre. As mentioned earlier, France is the second largest country in Europe in terms of trade. In 1998, the foreign trade balance for goods has reached $25.4 billion. 60 % of the France’s trade is done with other countries within the European Union. The most important commodities exported from France are transportation equipments, machinery, aircrafts, chemicals, perfumes, pharmaceutical products, metals like iron and steel, beverages etc. France is ranked fifth in the world in terms of import. The most important commodities imported to France are crude oil, plastics etc.
France has a large wealth of weapons and is ranked as world’s 4th largest weapon supplier. This highly sophisticated weapon industry has contributed a lot towards the France country’s economy. The weapons mainly include guns, warships, nuclear weapons etc. Earlier, most of these weapons were built for the French government but later France started exporting it to other countries like Singapore, United Arab Emirates, India, Pakistan, Taiwan etc.
France does not have a well developed fuel resource. It doesn't not have its own domestic oil production. The countries majority of the fuel needs are satisfied through import. France mostly concentrates on its nuclear power. About 78% of the countries electricity is obtained from the Nuclear Energy. France has a well developed facility for the proper disposal and reprocessing of nuclear waste. France is ranked second in the world in terms of nuclear supply. In 2006, out of the total amount of electricity of 548.8TWh, 428.7 TWh was generated from nuclear power, 60.9 TWh of electricity was generated through hydroelectric powers, 52.4 TWh was generated from fossil fuels, 6.9 TWh from other sources of energies like wind energy, biodegradation of waste matters etc.
At present, the population of France is about 62 million. Out of this total population, the number of people who are employed is about 25.5 million. Unemployment is one of the major problems faced by the French economy despite its strong economic status. The rate of unemployment in France was estimated as 9.4 %.
The most important economic regions of France include lsle-de-France, Provence-Alpes-Côtes d'Azur, Nord-Pas-de-Calais, Pays de la Loire, Aquitaine, Brittany, Lorraine, Picardie, Bourgogne, Auvergne etc.