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France is filled with citizens who are proud of the history and accomplishments of their country. Within this country resides beautiful monuments, attractions, and people — which make it a hot spot for tourists all over the world.

In this SWOT analysis of France, you’ll learn about the many strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats affecting the country within the last few years. Some of these sections discuss what industries give France such a formidable economy, the surprising problems felt by citizens and expats, and the biggest fear lying deep in the hearts of the people.

Strengths: A celebrated destination spot for travelers and expats

The telecommunications, tourism, agriculture, and weapons industries all contribute to France’s economy. As an agricultural producer, France is one of the top countries in Europe. Soybeans, seafood, and nuts are only a few of the many products contributing to the $600 million made in agricultural exports each year. France’s other popular exports include wine, cheese, and other processed products.

The French rely on the country’s development of weapons, guns, and warships. In fact, the country is in the top five for the largest weapon exportation worldwide.

It goes without saying that France is a popular tourist destination, what with its attractions and historical buildings, like the Eiffel Towel, the Louvre, and until recently, the Notre Dame. People are particularly attracted to Paris, the “city of love”, but the entire country has fantastic acts, cuisine, and destinations.

The property market in France is particularly stable, even in the more populated areas like Paris and the French Riviera. Not only are these locations safe, but the price of property is low, and interest rates are both negotiable and reduced — a dream for anyone wishing to buy property in France.

The country welcomes business and innovation. Both give the economy a boost because it supplies job opportunities for citizens and expats. France also encourages funding for startups and managing business taxes is simple. Thanks to this, having an entrepreneurial mindset when in France is a quiet strength, inviting challenge and opportunity.

And for anyone living or working in France, the healthcare services are exquisite. It’s thorough, efficient, and accessible. The truth is, the French healthcare system is known to be one of the most beneficial systems in the world.

Weaknesses: Rude staff or a difference of cultural belief?

Here’s the truth: if you don’t speak French, you’ll have a hard time visiting (much less living) in this country. Most people stick to French (the country’s main language) regardless of whether you’re buying land or asking for some water at a cafe.

On top of the potential language barrier, the living costs in France are high. If you come over with American or British currency, the exchange rate will make it easier on you financially. But if you don’t, you may find it difficult to survive for long.

A random complaint of the French is the customer service. As in, there isn’t really much.

Unlike in the West where workers are taught the “customer is always right”, France doesn’t follow this belief. Employees are more direct — they speak clearly, but don’t necessarily smile while providing service. In some cases, they can come off as indifferent or rude. It’s more likely that the French aren’t rude, they just don’t “above and beyond”. Once their job is accomplished, the workers move on to the next task without dallying.

The administration is a major weakness in the country. As a civilian, expat, or traveller, it may be difficult to get a straight answer out of the administration. If you’re not given the runaround, you’re buried under paperwork. This wouldn’t be such a problem if the administration weren’t known to lose papers often, requiring you to re-do the paperwork or risk having your request denied.

Opportunities: Budding industries and help amid historical tragedy

France is the leader in pharmaceutical and aerospace. The country may explore more opportunities within these industries, specifically in relation to foreign suppliers and partners. Additionally, the other popular French industries, such as education, travel, and digital space, can allow for growth in new sectors. The country is seeing advancements in telecommunications, e-commerce, and IT too.

The French population is falling in love with American products. Everything from clothes to consumer goods is wanted, and the government is providing. The importing of these American products not only pleases consumers but also encourages foreign business, trading, and partnerships.

Here’s another unfortunate opportunity bred from tragedy. Nearly all of the famous Notre Dame recently succumbed to a devastating fire this year. Millions of people around the globe mourned the loss of this monumental historical building. Although much was destroyed, the foundation remains, and the objects within were saved from the flames.

This tragedy has allowed people from within and outside of France to bond. It’s also led international Influencers and the wealthy to donate funds to rebuild this legendary landmark. 

Read also: PESTLE Analysis of France

Threats: Devastating terrorist attacks

Unfortunately, France has fallen victim to several acts of terrorism from Islamist terrorist groups. Since 2015, hundreds of people have died. These attacks include the denotation of bombs, a terrorist driving a truck through a crowd of people, and a knife attack in the Louvre.

France is also threatened by high volume vehicle break-ins. Valuable possessions (including travel documents, passwords, and money) are frequently stolen. These break-ins happen commonly during the night, on the beach in the south, and at rest stops near the highway. This is problematic for French and foreign travellers.

SWOT Analysis of France: Conclusion

Like any other, France is a country with many strengths and weaknesses. People from all over the world explore France for fine cuisine and to visit the extraordinary landmarks. The country is friendly for business and property ownership. But the high cost of living makes it difficult to survive. The citizens are direct and don’t feel compelled to make small talk, smile, or jump through hoops for strangers — this can be a pro or con, depending on how you feel.

The country doesn’t lack opportunities. Many industries are bursting with new partners, suppliers, and products for trade. But there has been much tragedy in the country — from deadly terrorist attacks to the burning of a certain iconic historical landmark. Still, the people band together when adversity rises, and will continue to do so whenever necessary.

Image by PourquoiPas