France’s Imports and Exports
France is one of the EU’s major importers and exporters with everything from raw commodities to automobiles.
The economy of France has been carefully planned to provide support to international trade with a number of important products and commodities. Globally, the country holds an important position as the third largest trader in the European Union after Germany and the United Kingdom.
France also exports a number of valuable commodities including machinery and transportation equipment, aircraft, plastics, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, iron, steel, consumer products, petroleum and cars & vehicles. A major part of this foreign trade is carried out with European partners including Germany, UK, Spain and Italy.
France is the second largest exporter in the world of both services and farm products. It is justly famous for its cheese, wine, and wheat, being the world’s leading supplier of quality produce in these areas.
The country is one of the major agricultural powers with almost 25% of the total agricultural products of the European Union being produced there. The contribution of the agricultural sector to the country’s GDP is almost 2.5%. The French government provides considerable subsidies to its agricultural sector so that it may continue to grow and contribute to the country’s GDP, a development that will further ensure increased export activities.
The manufacturing industry is also a key exporter, contributing nearly 27% to GDP. France’s phenomenal export growth has been aided by structural reforms initiated by the government that promote every aspect of foreign trade. It is one of the five largest global exporters of durables.
According to the CIA World Factbook, France exported US $490 billion worth of goods and services in 2006. Its main export partners as of 2005 were:
- Germany (14.7%)
- Spain (9.6%)
- UK (8.3%)
- US (7.2%)
- Belgium (7.1%)
During 2006 French imports stood at US $529.1 billion.
Primary imports included cars and vehicles, machinery and equipment, crude oil, plastics, chemicals and aircraft. As of 2005, it imported from:
- Germany (18.9%)
- Belgium (10.7%)
- Italy (8.2%)
- Spain (7%)
- Netherlands (6.5%)
- UK (5.9%)
- US (5.1%)
France imports different commodities from other countries. Some of the major import partners are represented in the chart (2005):
In 2005, France imported goods worth US$471.36 billion and the exported goods worth US$439.22 billion. Within this same period, the services sector contributed a huge portion of its import and export activities.