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France, also known as the Republic of France, is one of the world's oldest countries, dating back to the 15th century when it was one of the most dominant nations. The nation is located in North-Western Europe and extends from north to south from the Mediterranean Sea to the North Sea and the Channel, as well as from the Rhine River to the Atlantic Ocean. The nation has a population of more than 66 million people and is made up of numerous overseas lands and islands, with its mainland recognized as Metropolitan France. The Metropolitan France is mainly characterized by the major cities of France that occupy approximately 212,932 square miles and are renown mainly because of its capital city, Paris. The country has a diverse topography which is seen from some of its plains as well as mountainous regions characterized by the Pyrenees and the Alps. (Briney, 1).
The country is currently the most visited tourist destination in the world with significant aesthetic value being given to its fashion, cuisine and culture. The economy is largely boosted by the approximately 75 million tourists who visit the country on an annual basis (BBC, 1).
Economic Overview of France
As at last year, France’s Gross Domestic Product was valued at 2.465 trillion US Dollars which represents approximately 3.98 percent of the total world economy. This is a 0.5% increment from the GDP recorded in 2015 worth 2.4335 trillion U.S Dollars which was the lowest figure in comparison to figures of 2.9234 trillion U.S Dollars recorded in 2008. Its total GDP is mainly attributed to the service industry that totals to 79.8% of the GDP, the industrial sector with 18.3% and agriculture with 1.9%. Currently, France is ranked third behind Germany and the United Kingdom as the strongest economies in Europe.
The monetary system in France is mainly characterized by the Euro as its main currency. The banking system as well has seen a significant structural shift that saw banks being grouped under one supervisory system. Commercial banks including BNP Paribas and the HSBC France are some of the largest banks in the world that offer financial instruments and hedging against fluctuations of the currency. The Banque de France is the central bank of France whose main role is regulating and supervising the French monetary system as well as the formulation of monetary and credit policies. The Bank is the main guardian of the French currency whose purpose is to ensure financial and price stability showing that it plays a role in pricing.
The country’s balance of trade deficit was reduced to 4.5 billion Euros as at August 2017 which was below the market expectations of a gap of 5.4 billion Euros. This was mainly attributed to the decrease of imports by 1.8% and the increase of exports by 1.4% to approximately 40 billion Euros. As at 2016, the main export partners were Germany with 16.7%, Belgium 7.5%, Italy 7.5%, Spain 6.9% and United Kingdom 6.9% amongst others with export goods being valued at 505.4 billion US Dollars including agricultural produce, beverages, iron and steel, chemicals, machinery and plastics.
The country imported goods worth 525 billion U.S Dollars that included machinery, crude oil, vehicles, aircrafts, chemicals and plastics with its main import partners being Germany, Belgium, Italy, Netherlands, Spain, United Kingdom and China (CIA, 1).
Summary and Conclusions
As earlier mentioned, France lags behind Germany and the United Kingdom and this can be evidenced from its low GDP levels in comparison to other years. This can mainly be attributed to a high level of unemployment in comparison to other nations in the European Union. The country’s productivity levels need to be increased to boost their per capita income.
BBC. “France country profile.” BBC News, BBC, 28 June 2017, www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-17298730.
Briney, Amanda. “Geography and Information About France.” ThoughtCo, 3 Mar. 2017, www.thoughtco.com/geography-of-france-1434598.
CIA. “The World Factbook.” Https://Www.cia.gov/Library/Publications/the-World-Factbook/Fields/2061.Html#fr, CIA, 2016, www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/fields/2061.html#fr.
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