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Facts about the economy of France

France is ranked as the world's fifth and Europe's second largest economy by nominal GDP.

France ranks world's fourth and Europe's first in the Fortune Global 500 ahead of Germany and UK.

France has a mixed economy of private and state enterprises with the latter owning the majority of the country's infrastructure (railway, electricity, aircraft, nuclear power and telecommunications).

France has an important aerospace industry led by the European consortium Airbus, and has its own national spaceport, the Centre Spatial Guyanais.

According to the World Trade Organization, in 2009 France was the world's sixth-largest exporter and the fourth largest importer of manufactured goods

The Paris stock exchange (La Bourse de Paris) is an ancient institution created by Louis XV.

French companies have maintained key positions in the insurance and banking industries eg. AXA is the world's largest insurance company and BNP Paribas ranking as the world's largest bank.

France is the smallest emitter of carbon dioxide among the seven most industrialized countries in the world, due to its heavy investment in nuclear power.

France started using the euro from its launch 1 January 1999, with it completely replacing the French franc in early 2002. Ten years on, the last day to exchange francs for euros was 17 Feb 2012.

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