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Capital City: Paris
%T:%M %A in Paris
The year 2005 has witnessed the slack of the economy in France. In 2003, the real GDP growth rate crumbled to 0.5% , that is to say the slightest progression ever registered since 1993 in France. The GDP then picked up in 2004 to reach 2.3%. The recovery was not confirmed in 2005 as the GDP growth was 1,5%. The IMF forecasts a 1,8% growth in 2006. Unemployment rate remains worrying, it attained 9.6% in January 2006. In the mid-term, population ageing is the French economy's major challenge. In order to maintain the country's economic and budgetary balance, the government has already started upon necessary structural reforms.

France is European Union's largest agricultural power, of which it provides almost a fourth of its production. Agriculture generates 2.9% of the French GDP, and France is the second largest agricultural power in the world (behind the USA). Agricultural activity benefits from huge subsidies, especially European subsidies. Wheat, corn, meat and wine are the main productions. The manufacturing industry is diversified, but the country is going through a desindustrialisation process, traduced by several relocations. The key industrial sectors are cars, computer, telecommunications and electronics. Services account for 72.4% of the French GDP. France is the first tourist destination world-wide: than 75.3 million tourists visited France in 2005.

The French economy is very open to foreign trade of goods. The country ranks second in Europe for its foreign trade behind Germany, and is the eighth world destination for foreign direct investments (FDI). France's top three import partners are Germany, Italy and Spain. Its top three export partners are Germany, Spain and UK. France mainly imports vehicles, machinery and consumer goods.

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