Economic activity in urban free trade zones
Since 1997, urban free trade zones (zones franches urbaines) have been created in Metropolitan France to foster economic development in disadvantaged neighbourhoods. Exemptions from charges have encouraged new companies, particularly in the construction sector, to set up in these areas. These companies have a five-year survival rate which is comparable to companies in the municipalities in which the urban free trade zones are located. More of them have employees than those in surrounding agglomerations, but the companies are usually smaller.