France is currently one of the three global leaders in the service sector, and is the uncontested worldwide champion in services to businesses and local authorities. Indeed, the country possesses a number of top-ranked corporations in the media, telecommunications, hotel, distribution and shipping industries. Services represent an important pillar of the economy, generating 85 percent of domestic growth since 1960 and 100 percent of net employment created, not to mention nearly €10 billion of trade surplus.
However, this vitality and success are threatened by the trend toward consolidation of increasingly global and competitive markets. France is vulnerable, with a market that remains highly fragmented, and is not sufficiently competitive or innovative. Only half as dynamic as neighboring Germany, France has slipped from third to fourth place in services exported worldwide. If nothing is done, France’s service sector could well suffer the same fate as the industrial sector. French corporations that do not manage to hold their own and reach critical mass will be the victims of this consolidation.
Nonetheless, the future is not yet written. France’s service sector can still reinvent itself. Indeed, the acquisition of critical mass by the corporations on the domestic market would enable the latter to make critical acquisitions and capitalize on growth opportunities internationally.
This point of view is only available in French.