Globalisation and the competitiveness of French companies - The views of the directors of industrial companies

José Bardaji et Philippe Scherrer, division Enquêtes de conjoncture, Insee

There is a fairly widespread view among the directors of industrial companies that development abroad is very important for the French economy, but fewer of them express the same opinion for their own company. Industrialists in the export trade say that their competitiveness in foreign markets depends chiefly on the quality of their products, then on their price and the extent to which they satisfy consumer demand, and, to a lesser degree, innovation and research and development. According to the directors of industrial companies, the French economy has many assets, for example the level of qualifications among managerial staff and the quality of its telecommunication and transport infrastructure, but it also suffers from handicaps, particularly the cost of unskilled work and the local business levy A little over one industrial company in five plans to set up new production activities abroad and nearly one in six intends to shift production activities abroad. Development abroad seems to be mainly motivated by the opportunity to reduce salary costs, but also by more advantageous tax systems and more flexible regulatory regimes. For companies with over 250 employees, client proximity becomes the main criterion, ahead even of the chance to reduce salary costs.

Insee Première
No 1188
Paru le : 14/05/2008