Panorama 2021: an overview of Bpifrance and its partners’ actions on French entrepreneurs’ export activity
Bpifrance export division has recently released its annual “Panorama” to share its 2021 activity. Here’s a review of the key figures, the major export solutions, and how Bpifrance works hand in hand with the rest of Team France Export’s members to support French exporters.
After a 2021 strong economic growth following the Covid crisis recovery (+7% of ), a slowdown is emerging together with the war in Ukraine and its consequences, in particular inflation prospects linked to the price of energy. Half of French exports go to the European Union. Germany remains France’s main trading partner and customer, followed by Italy, Belgium, Spain, and the United States. Despite a poor balance of trade due to several reasons, including the deindustrialization of France, Bpifrance pursues its efforts helping companies to export.
Supporting exporters in their development abroad
in support of French companies going abroad rose by 35% in 2021, to an all-time high of €20.8 billion. This is mostly attributable to export insurance business, which issued over €17 billion in guarantees. Financing the international development of our companies has also resulted in an increase of over 50% in international loans to €650 million. In parallel, the 84% growth in export finance to €400 million confirms the complementary role it plays as support alongside French banks for overcoming major export challenges. In total, Bpifrance and its partners like Business France have supported more than 6,000 companies, and in many ways: export insurance, financing, international expeditions and events, … Bpifrance also collaborates with many foreign institutions through partnership’s agreement, or even multilateral call for proposals such as the European program Eureka to generate innovative collaborations between private and public actors.
Rethinking export activities to adapt to a new business environment
Digitalization has become a necessity for companies forced to reorganize their distribution channel and that rely more on digital sales. Climate issues represent another priority. The climate plan for export is divided into three pillars:
- Halting state guarantees for new oil and gas exploration and development projects
- Introducing criteria to restrict guarantees for thermoelectric power plant projects
- Proposing climate bonuses incentives to all so-called « sustainable » projects, as well as renewable energy export projects
Bpifrance’s Climate Plan includes a carbon footprint measurement of the Bpifrance portfolios, launched in 2020 and updated in 2021. The export development division of Bpifrance is also committed to the ecological and energy transition. In 2021, 28 SMEs involved in the ecological and energy transition ha ve participated in international missions.
Team France Export, the one-stop shop for exporters
To promo te French companies abroad, the government has created “Team France Export” in 2018, the one-stop shop dedicated to exporters. It gathers Business France, Chambers of Commerce and Industry, French regions, and Bpifrance, representing the financial arm of the entity. Dedicated to SMEs in particular, Team France Export offers a more efficient and coherent export journey by proposing all the solutions that will help exporters in their international development in one place. Team France Export stays close to French entrepreneurs wherever they are thanks to a network of 250 advisors in France, and 750 International advisors in 65 countries. In line with its France 2030 plan, the French government thus hopes to increase the number of French exporters.
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