Facts about France

April 22nd, 2012 - 5:39 pm ICT by IANS  

Paris, April 22 (IANS) Here are key facts on France, where voting in the first round of the 2012 French presidential election took place Sunday.

Located in western Europe, France shares its borders with Belgium, Luxembourg, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, Monaco, Spain and Andorra. It is also linked to Britain by the Channel Tunnel which passes underneath the English Channel.

With a total area of 632,834 sq km, France is the third largest country in Europe behind Russia and Ukraine. Its population reached 65.8 million as of January 2011, reported Xinhua.

France is one of the most developed countries with the fifth largest economy in the world. In 2011, its GDP reached $2.808 trillion, with an annual growth rate of 1.8 percent.

France enjoys a leading position in sectors such as nuclear power, aerospace, and railway. According to the latest data, in 2010, France’s export totaled $508.7 billion dollars, and its imports stood at $577.7 billion.

France is also a leading agricultural producer and exporter in Europe. Wheat, poultry, dairy, beef and pork, as well as internationally recognized foodstuff and wine are primary French agricultural exports.

With a long history and abundant cultural and natural heritage, France is one of the most visited country in the world, receiving around 82 million foreign tourists annually.

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