Ideas to Action:

Independent research for global prosperity

France

2013

Aid

Aid quality is just as important as aid quantity, so the CDI measures gross aid as a share of GDP adjusted for various quality factors: it subtracts debt service, penalizes “tied” aid that makes recipients spend aid only on donor goods and services, rewards aid to poor but relatively well-governed recipients, and penalizes overloading poor governments with many small projects.

France’s aid performance

  • Score: 4.2
  • Rank: 13

Strengths

  • Small share of tied or partially tied aid (5.93%; rank: 11)

Weaknesses

  • Small share of aid to poor and better-governed recipients (selectivity rank: 20)
  • Small amount of private charitable giving attributable to tax policy (0.00% of GDP; rank 20) – in 2011 France failed to report any charitable giving.
 

Trade

International trade has been a force for economic development for centuries. The CDI measures trade barriers in rich countries against exports from developing countries. It also penalizes costly importation processes and restrictions against purchasing services from foreigners.

France’s trade performance

  • Score: 5.1
  • Rank: 16

Strengths

  • As a member state of the European Union, France imposes low tariffs on agricultural products including wheat, dairy, some meats, textiles and apparel
  • Few days to import a shipping container (2 days; rank: 1)
Weaknesses
  • As a member state of the European Union France imposes high tariffs on rice, sugar and beef
  • Many limitations on the importation of services (Services Trade Restrictions Index score: 26.2 ; rank: 26)
  • High agricultural subsidies (equivalent to a tariff worth 15.5% of the value of imports; rank: 17)
  • Relatively high cost to import a shipping container ($1,078 per container; rank: 17)
  • Many documents required for importation (11 documents; rank: 17)
 

Finance

Rich-country investment in poorer countries can transfer technologies, upgrade management and create jobs. Conversely, policies that permit financial secrecy of companies and banks can facilitate illicit activities and financial flows abroad. The CDI rewards policies that support healthy investment in developing countries and promote transparency in financial transactions at home.

France’s financeperformance

  • Score: 5.5
  • Rank: 10

Strengths

  • Scores above average in the Financial Secrecy Index for regulations in place to promote transparent financial transactions within its jurisdiction (rank: 7)
  • Active participation in extractive industries transparency initiatives such as the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) and the Kimberley Process on blood diamonds
  • Provides assistance to companies looking for investment opportunities in developing countries
Weaknesses
  • Political risk insurance agency does not screen projects for violations of local environmental rights

Migration

The movement of people from poor to rich countries provides unskilled immigrants with jobs, income and knowledge. This increases the flow of money sent home by migrants abroad and the transfer of skills when the migrants return.

France’s migration performance

  • Score: 4.2
  • Rank: 17

Strengths

  • Political risk insurance agency does not screen projects for violations of local environmental rights

Weaknesses

  • Small number of immigrants from developing countries entering France (rank by share of population: 19)

Environment

Rich countries use a disproportionate amount of scarce resources, and poor countries are most vulnerable to global warming and ecological deterioration, so the CDI measures the impact of policies on the global climate, fisheries and biodiversity.

France’s environment performance

  • Score: 7.1
  • Rank: 11

Strengths

  • Low greenhouse gas emissions rate per capita (6.9 tons of carbon dioxide equivalent; rank: 4)
  • Low fossil fuel production rate per capita (0.01 tons of carbon dioxide equivalent; rank: 10)
  • Excellent compliance with mandatory reporting requirements under multilateral environmental agreements relating to biodiversity (rank: 9)
Weaknesses
  • High fishing subsidies (rank: 17)
  • Low gas taxes ($1.04 per liter; rank: 15)
  • Greenhouse gas emissions grew almost as fast as GDP over the last decade (average annual growth rate/GDP, -2.51%; rank: 15)
 

Security

Since security is a prerequisite for development, the CDI rewards contributions to internationally sanctioned peacekeeping operations and forcible humanitarian interventions, military protection of global sea lanes, and participation in international security treaties. It also penalizes arms exports to poor and undemocratic governments.

France’s security performance

  • Score: 2.6
  • Rank: 24

Strengths

  • Participates in major international security treaties and regimes
  • Relatively large contribution to the UN Peacekeeping Operations budget (rank by share of GDP: 3)
  • Significant personnel contributions to internationally-sanctioned peacekeeping and humanitarian interventions over last decade (rank by share of GDP: 2)
  • Positions naval fleet to protect sea lanes vital for international trade (rank: 5)
Weaknesses
  • High level of arms exports to poor and undemocratic governments (rank by share of GDP: 26)

Technology

Rich countries contribute to development through the creation and dissemination of new technologies. The CDI captures this by measuring government support for R&D and penalizing strong intellectual property rights regimes that limit the dissemination of new technologies to poor countries.

France’s technology performance

  • Score: 6.6
  • Rank: 3

Strengths

  • High tax subsidy rate to businesses for R&D (rank: 1)
  • Provides patent exceptions for research purposes
Weaknesses
  • Allows patents on plant and animal varieties
  • Pushes to extend intellectual property rights in bilateral trade treaties (“TRIPS Plus” measures) that restrict the flow of innovations to developing countries
  • Offers patent-like proprietary rights to developers of data compilations, including those assembled from data in the public domain