French exports stood at 1,427 billion francs ($285.4 billion) in 1995, 22% of GDP while the imports amounted to 1,322 billion francs ($264.4 billion). The figured showed a substantial increase in the surplus in durable goods (over 58 billion francs, $11.6 billion), a 20 billion-franc surplus ($4 billion) in farm products, a surplus of 31 billion francs ($6.2 billion) in agri-foodstuffs, a declining energy bill and a rise of 19% in electricity exports.(Stern 47)
Being a member of the European Union results in a lot of internal trading between the EU countries, hence France’s European Union partners absorb 64% of its trade. According to the survey carried out in the 1990s, the country had a trade surplus of 27 billion francs ($5.4 billion) with the EU in 1995. The main trading partners of France are Germany, Italy, the United Kingdom, Belgium and Spain, along with the United States.
As pointed out above France and United Kingdom are major trading partners. France is UK’s third largest market and has been importing from Britain for the last twenty odd years. France has the distinction of being UK’s third largest supplier providing 7.2% of UK imports only behind Germany (14.6%) and the USA (9.5%), while ahead of the Netherlands (7.1%) and China (6.8%). The United Kingdom is Frances’s fourth export market making 8.3% total exports, after Germany (14.7%), Spain (9.9%) and Italy (9.5%).
The United Kingdom is France’s seventh supplier, as it pr…
As Chinese products have flooded the global markets, the scenario has been similar for France who has been importing from China on an increasing rate. (Stern 51)
On the other hand, United Kingdom has lost the France market and this is mostly explained by the downward trend in the oil exports by the UK to France. Other main category products whose export level has also suffered have been cars, electronic and electrical equipment, chemicals, clothing and meat. However, this has been slightly off set by increasing UK exports in sectors such as machinery (gas turbines), pharmaceuticals, aerospace, iron and other heavy metals, precious stones
The main categories or rather sectors which have been of prime trading importance between UK and France apart from the energy sector are: machinery, electrical equipment, transport, chemicals, food and consumer goods. According to the latest figures, the imports by France from UK include mostly machinery while France mostly exports transport equipment to the UK. (Gilbert 2004)
Machinery constitutes the largest share in the bilateral trade by having nearly 80% representation while it is followed by the energy sector in UK exports at 11.7% and oil in UK imports at 5.9%. Energy’s share in UK exports was 11.7% (10.6% being oil) and 5.9% in UK imports.
Another important trading partner of France is the United States of America (USA). The foreign trade allows them to deepen the understanding of good faith that that the two countries have established. The foundation of their global trade is based on a solid arrangement. According to the latest figures published in the State publications, the average trading between the two nations is of 1 billion dollars -commercial activities and