The Kingdom of Belgium is a Western European country bordered by France, the Netherlands, Germany, Luxembourg and the North Sea, covering a surface area of 30,528 sq.kms and with a population of 11,289,900 inhabitants, for a GDP of US$437,2 billion in 2017.
Engineering and metallurgy products, the automotive assembly industry and food and beverage packaging, and petrochemicals are the main sectors of activity in the Belgian economy. Belgium has been able to take advantage of its geographical location to occupy a central place in the politics of the European Union (source: France Diplomatie, February 2019).
Its main trading partners are its neighbours: Germany, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and France.
France is the leading host country for Belgian investments and one of its favourite economic partners.
In order to meet the needs of its customers on the Belgian market, Simon Associés has developed privileged relations with economic and legal partners locally.
The Republic of Bulgaria is a Southeast European country located in the Balkan peninsula, bordered to the east by the Black Sea, to the south by Greece and Turkey, to the north by the Danube and Romania and to the west by Serbia and the Republic of Macedonia. Bulgaria has a surface area of 110,994 sq.kms and a population of 7,364,570 (source: World Bank, January 2018).
The Bulgarian economy is primarily based on energy, mining, light industry and tourism. The country’s main economic partners are Germany, Italy, Romania, Greece, Belgium and France.
France has more than 200 companies in Bulgaria, employing over 16,000 people. The country is home to leading French manufacturers, mainly in the energy, construction and chemicals sectors. French players active on the Bulgarian service sector cover a range of professions, including banking and insurance, urban services, retail and hotels (source: Eurostat, Trésor, BIT, 2018).
In order to meet the needs of its customers in the Bulgarian market, Simon Associés has developed privileged relations with economic and legal partners locally.
The Republic of Cyprus is a state covering 9251 sq.kms, located on the island of Cyprus in the Levantine Sea, which is in the eastern part of the Mediterranean Sea. The total population of Cyprus is about one million, and the GDP close to US$18.7 billion (source: France Diplomatie, 2016).
The Cypriot economy is largely based on tourism and the tertiary sector. The country’s main trading partners are Greece, Germany, the United Kingdom and Italy.
Since Cyprus joined the European Union (EU), France has upped its economic presence by developing its direct investments. France is now the 11th biggest investor in Cyprus.
In order to meet the needs of its customers on the Cypriot market, Simon Associés has developed privileged relations with economic and legal partners locally.
The Republic of Estonia is a northern European country, located on the eastern shore of the Baltic Sea and on the southern shore of the Gulf of Finland. Estonia is bordered by Latvia to the south and Russia to the east. This country covers 45,339 sq.kms, it has a little over 1.315 million inhabitants and a GDP of US$25.6 billion (source: Eurostat – Tresor – BIT, 2018).
The Estonian economy is characterized by its industry and highly competitive service sector.
Estonia has been particularly successful in the IT and Internet sector, the cradle of companies such as Skype, and has been quick to develop online access to government services.
Its main trading partners are Finland, Sweden, Germany, Latvia, Russia, Lithuania and the United States.
France is the 12th biggest investor in Estonia. Forty or so French companies are based in Estonia, particularly in the infrastructure and transport sector, logistics, electronics, industry and hotels.
In order to meet the needs of its customers on the Estonian market, Simon Associés has developed privileged relations with economic and legal partners locally.
Greece is located in the southern part of the Balkan Peninsula. It is a parliamentary republic with Athens as its capital. The country has a population of over 11 million and a surface area of 131,957 km2. Greece’s GDP in 2020 was $170 billion.
Greece has an export-oriented economy, with trade accounting for 74.4% of GDP in 2019 (World Bank, 2020). Petroleum products represent both imported and exported items as the country imports crude oil and exports refined products. Medicines, fish and olive oil are also among the most exported products. Medicines account for an important share of imports (3.7%), followed by motor cars and cruise ships.
The result of Franco-Hellenic trade in 2020 is marked by the effects of the health crisis and a 78.3% increase in French imports, dominated by the pharmaceutical sector. Our exports fell by 0.5%. Greece remains a trade surplus for France, although the balance is reduced by half compared to previous years.
In order to best meet the needs of its clients in the Greek market, Simon Associés has developed relationships with renowned economic and legal partners in Greece.
Hungary is located in Central Europe. Bordered by Austria to the west, Serbia, Croatia and Slovenia to the south and southwest, Romania to the southeast, Ukraine to the northeast and Slovakia to the north, Hungary covers 93,030 sq.kms. The Hungarian population is over 9.8 million, with a GDP nudging US$124.4 billion (source: FMI – France Diplomatie, 2018).
The Hungarian economy is dominated by the tertiary sector, which accounts for more than 2/3 of the national wealth. Industry generates almost 30% of GDP and agriculture contributes 5%. The country’s main trading partners are Germany, Austria, Romania, China and Italy.
France is the 4th biggest investor in Hungary. More than 350 French companies are present in Hungary, employing nearly 43,000 people.
In order to meet the needs of its customers on the Hungarian market, Simon Associés has developed privileged relations with economic and legal partners locally.
The Italian Republic is composed of a continental part and a part made up of islands (Sicily & Sardinia), located in Southern Europe, bordered by the Mediterranean Sea, whose surface area covers 310 226 sq.kms. The Italian peninsula is attached to the European continent in its northern part, sharing borders with France, Switzerland, Austria and Slovenia. Italy has more than 60.6 million inhabitants, for a GDP of US$1.85 billion (source: DGT – ISTAT, 2018).
Italy is one of the world’s largest exporters of luxury goods, along with France. Italian agriculture, high-tech industry and tourism are other key sectors of the Italian export economy. The energy sector is an essential part of Italian imports. Germany and France are Italy’s largest trading partners.
France and Italy are each other’s 2nd biggest commercial partners. France is the 3rd biggest foreign investor in Italy, after Luxembourg and the Netherlands, both foreign investment platforms in Europe. The Italian market therefore ranks first in sales of French agri-food products and is one of the favourite markets for French exports of mechanical equipment and chemicals. About 1/5 of the FDI stock in Italy comes from France. For its part, Italy is the 5th biggest investor in France, with nearly 1,300 Italian subsidiaries present, employing just under 80,000 people in the country.
In order to meet the needs of its customers on the Italian market, Simon Associés has developed privileged relations with economic and legal partners locally.
The Grand Duchy of Luxembourg is the country with the highest GDP per capita in the world. Its population is 602,005 and a GDP of US$55,4 billion. With a surface area of 2,586.4 sq.kms, Luxembourg is located in the centre of Europe. It is bordered by Germany, Belgium and France (source: DGTPE – European Commission – Tresor, 2017).
It is estimated that 44% of Luxembourg’s finances come from its significant financial market. The 144 banks present in the country employ 26,000 people.
As a geographical neighbour, France is Luxembourg’s second largest strategic partner after Germany. Given its central location in Europe but especially given its economic clout, Luxembourg is a key partner. It continues to be a strategic location for the financial market.
There are 750 French establishments in Luxembourg. These employ more than 20,000 people.
In order to meet the needs of its customers on the Luxembourg market, Simon Associés has developed privileged relations with economic and legal partners locally.
The Republic of Malta is an island country of 316 sqkm, located in the Mediterranean Sea, between Italy to the North, Tunisia to the West, Libya to the South. Malta is the tenth smallest country, and the world’s fifth most densely populated country, with a population of nearly 440.433 individuals. Malta has a GDP of US$11,1 billion (source: France Diplomatie, July 2018).
The Maltese economy ranks amongst advanced economies. It is considered a high-income and innovation-based economy. It is driven by the services sector: tourism, financial services, international trade and manufacturing (electronics).
France is Malta’s fourth trading partner, with modest FDI, but a lot of French companies developing activities on the island, in sectors such as electronics and telecommunications, freight, infrastructure, financial services, insurance, automotive sector.
In order to meet the needs of its customers on the Maltese market, Simon Associés has developed privileged relations with economic and legal partners locally.
Located in the Iberian Peninsula, bordered by Spain to the east, and the Atlantic Ocean to the west, Portugal is the most westerly country in Europe. Its territory includes the Azores and Madeira, two archipelagos in the Atlantic Ocean, and has an area of 92,226 sqkm. The country has a population of nearly 10.28 million, for a GDP of 201,6 billion euros (source: AMECO – FMI – World Bank, 2018).
Portugal has an advanced economy and a high average income, with developed infrastructures, its road network being considered one of the best in the world. This country is highly ranked on the Global Peace Index (Institute for Economics & Peace), mainly because of its long-term political stability.
France and Portugal have an important trading partnership. French exports to Portugal are the third largest, while France is Portugal’s second largest export customer. The country’s French companies are ranked second, behind their Spanish counterparts, in terms of number, employees and sales. However, France takes first spot when the added value in Portugal is factored in.
In order to meet the needs of its customers on the Portuguese market, Simon Associés has developed privileged relations with economic and legal partners locally.
Switzerland, bordered by Germany, Austria, Liechtenstein, Italy and France, is a country of 41,285 km2, with a population of over 8.5 million and a GDP of CHF 669 billion in 2017 (Sources: Federal Statistical Office, DGTPE, European Commission, Swiss Confederation).
The Swiss economy is one of the most prosperous in the world, even thought it has no natural resources nor direct access to the sea. Switzerland is known for the emergence of its service sectors which is very powerful, particularly in banking, insurance, transport, consulting, telecommunications and ICT (information and communication technologies) areas.
The European Union is the most important trading partner of Switzerland, Germany being the first.
France also contributes to the Swiss economy. Relations between both countries are rich and strong, being strengthened by a common language, human, political, economic and cultural exchanges, as well as tourism. French investments represent around 60,000 jobs.
In order to perfectly meet its customers’ needs on the Swiss market, Simon Associés has developped privileged relations with economic and legal partners locally.
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