France is located in Western Europe, bordering the Bay of Biscay and English Channel, between Belgium and Spain, southeast of the UK; bordering the Mediterranean Sea, between Italy and Spain with terrains that vary from mostly flat plains in metropolitan France to low-lying coastal plains and mountains.
It is the largest state in the EU and is considered to be a well developed economy. The French people enjoy high standards of living. Owing to its rich and diversified culture, 82 million tourists visit the country annually, making tourism one of the many contributors to France’s economy.
France is the 5th largest economy in the world at $2.555 trillion on a GDP (PPP) basis in 2010, putting it behind the US, China, Japan and Germany, but just ahead of the UK.
In 2010, according to the WTO, France was the 6th largest exporter and 5th largest importer of manufactured goods. France has for long been receiving a lot of FDI, and in 2008, the country ranked 3rd in the world among the OECD (Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development) countries.
France was able to handle the 2008 recession better than most other EU economies thanks to its larger government sector, which tends to reduce the impact of recessions but also slow recovery and innovation.
France ended 2009 with a GDP of $2,675.92 billion. 2010 figures show growing only 1.565 percent until 2015 when forecast figures expect GDP to US$ 2,945.20 billion, growing an average of 2 percent per year.
As of 2010, France’s population was 65,102,719, growing at a rate of 0.549 percent with 18.6 percent of the population aged 0-14 years, 65 percent aged 15-64 years and 16.4 percent aged 65 years and over. Unemployment stands at 9.814 percent with 3.8 percent employed in agriculture, 24.3 percent in industry and 71.8 percent in the services sector (2010).
Trade declined due to the recession-affected demand. However, the well developed agriculture sector helped France’s economy, along with the services and industry sectors, in being self sufficient.
France's trade is one of the largest in the world. France exports and imports various raw materials, automobiles and electronic products. In 2010, France’s exports totaled $456.8 billion while imports totaled up to $532.2 billion.