The government retains considerable influence over key segments of infrastructure sectors, with majority ownership of railway, electricity, aircraft, nuclear power and telecommunications. It has been relaxing its control over these sectors since the early 1990s. The government is slowly corporatising the state sector and selling off holdings in France Télécom, Air France, as well as in the insurance, banking, and defence industries. France has an important aerospace industry led by the European consortium Airbus, and has its own national spaceport, the Centre Spatial Guyanais.
France is part of a monetary union, the Eurozone (dark blue), and of the EU single market.
According to the World Trade Organization (WTO), in 2009 France was the world's sixth largest exporter and the fourth largest importer of manufactured goods. In 2008, France was the third largest recipient of foreign direct investment among OECD countries at $118 billion, ranking behind Luxembourg (where foreign direct investment was essentially monetary transfers to banks located there) and the US ($316 billion), but above the UK ($96.9 billion), Germany ($25 billion), or Japan ($24 billion).
In the same year, French companies invested $220 billion outside France, ranking France as the second largest outward direct investor in the OECD, behind the US ($311 billion), and ahead of the UK ($111 billion), Japan ($128 billion) and Germany ($157 billion).
Financial services, banking and the insurance sector are an important part of the economy. The Paris stock exchange (French: La Bourse de Paris) is an old institution, created by Louis XV in 1724. In 2000, the stock exchanges of Paris, Amsterdam and Bruxelles merged into Euronext. In 2007, Euronext merged with the New York stock exchange to form NYSE Euronext, the world's largest stock exchange. Euronext Paris, the French branch of the NYSE Euronext group is Europe's 2nd largest stock exchange market, behind the London Stock Exchange.
French companies have maintained key positions in the insurance and banking industries: AXA is the world's largest insurance company. The leading French banks are BNP Paribas and the Crédit Agricole, ranking as the world's first and sixth largest banks in 2010 (by assets), while the Société Générale group was ranked the world's eighth largest in 2009.
France is the smallest emitter of carbon dioxide among the G8, due to its heavy investment in nuclear power. As a result of large investments in nuclear technology, most electricity produced by France is generated by 59 nuclear power plants (75% in 2012). In this context, renewable energies are having difficulty taking off.
Economy of France. France's economy entered the recession of the late 2000s later and left it earlier than most comparable economies, only enduring four-quarters of contraction. Between January and March 2011, France's GDP growth had been stronger than expected at 0.9% but shrunk between April and June 2011 decreasing by −0.1%.
In 2011, the GDP surprisingly grew at 1.85%, whereas in 2012 growth was stagnant. In the final quarter of 2013 the French economy was growing at a rate of 0.3%.  France has long been part of the world's wealthiest and most developed national economies. After the turn of the century, wealth per adult grew very strongly in France, tripling in value between 2000 and 2007. It then fell back by 15% and has not yet regained its 2007 value. Economic history of France. Energy in France. Energy in France describes energy and electricity production, consumption and import in France.
Overview Companies Électricité de France (EDF) is the main electricity generation and distribution company in France. It was founded on April 8, 1946 as a result of the nationalisation of a number of electricity producers, transporters and distributors by the Communist Minister of Industrial Production Marcel Paul. Until November 19, 2004 it was a government corporation, but it is now a limited-liability corporation under private law (société anonyme). EDF held a monopoly in the distribution, but not the production, of electricity in France until 1999, when the first European Union directive to harmonize regulation of electricity markets was implemented. EDF is one of the world's largest producers of electricity.
Nuclear: 74.5%hydro-electric: 16.3%thermal: 9.1%wind power and other renewable sources: 0.1% List of companies of France. This is a list of notable companies based in France.
For further information on the types of business entities in this country and their abbreviations, see "Business entities in France". A-B C-D E-K L-Q R-S T-Z Former companies Companies that merged and were renamed or companies that have disappeared: Agriculture. Labour market. Tourism in France. France attracted 83 million foreign tourists in 2012, making it the most popular tourist destination in the world. It is third in income from tourism due to briefer visits. 20% more tourists spent less than half as much as they did in the United States. In 2012, travel and tourism directly contributed EUR77.7 billion to French GDP, 30% of which comes from international visitors and 70% from domestic tourism spending.
Tourism. Transport. Transport in France. Travel times by road in Metropolitan France from Paris Transportation in France relies on one of the densest networks in the world with 146 km of road and 6.2 km of rail lines per 100 km2.
It is built as a web with Paris at its center. History The first important human improvements were the Roman roads linking major settlements and providing quick passage for marching armies. All through the Middle Ages improvements were few and second rate. Railway TGV Network: • red and blue: high-speed lines • black: normal lines used by TGVs • dotted lines: planned for 2009. Rail transport in France. Rail transport in France is mostly operated by SNCF, the French national railway company.
France has the second largest European railway network, with a total of 29,901 kilometers of railway. However, the railway system is a small portion of total travel, accounting for less than 10% of passenger travel. Since 1981, the SNCF has operated the TGV service, a high-speed rail network which has been consistently expanded in subsequent years. Media. Telecommunications in France. France's telecommunication system is highly developed.
France is served by an extensive system of automatic telephone exchanges connected by modern networks of fiber-optic cable, coaxial cable, microwave radio relay, and a domestic satellite system; cellular telephone service is widely available, expanding rapidly, and includes roaming service to foreign countries. Fixed-line telephony The telephony system employs an extensive system of modern network elements such as digital telephone exchanges, mobile switching centres, media gateways and signalling gateways at the core, interconnected by a wide variety of transmission systems using fibre-optics or Microwave radio relay networks.
The access network, which connects the subscriber to the core, is highly diversified with different copper-pair, optic-fibre and wireless technologies.