Want to know how the French people make their money? These are the main markets in France today:
French fashion has history dating back to the seventeenth century, and was initially restricted to the Royals, but was later publicized in the open market through the medium of the press. This promotion further helped French designs to reach to the elites in other nations who could afford it. The French fashion industry flourished during the rule of King Louis XIV, who was interested in pushing reforms in all aspects of French life, including the attire. As a result of this attempt of reformation, there were new styles introduced in France. These developments in French fashions attracted mainly the women from the Royal Families from the other European kingdoms. These noblewomen flocked to Paris to buy the latest French fashions, which turned Paris into the fashion capital of Europe.
French fashion had attracted attention since the early years of the nineteenth century. When Napoleon Bonaparte became the Emperor of France, he had the aim of making Paris the international center of the fashion industry. In order to make this bid for dominance successful, all British textiles were prohibited and new techniques for manufacturing tulle and batiste fabric emerged in Paris.
This helped with local textile manufacturing. In order to create a market for these fabrics, Napoleon forced the women and men in his courts to wear costumes which required high quantities of cloth. The women were asked to wear clothes with long strips of cloth at the back and a formal dress code for men was introduced. There were new styles of jewellery introduced during this time as well, which were quickly picked up as the new trends of French fashion.
French fashions today dominate several consumer markets across the world. With the introduction of the term Haute Couture in the mid nineteenth century, French fashion gained a new dimension. It is a term for high fashion' in the French fashion circle. This concept was spread across the international fashion industry and today is used by several brands to promote their costumes. Haute Couture in French fashions was introduced to define fashion creations made using optimum quality material which is also unique in the industry. Some of these materials include but are not limited to hand dyed wool, shredded leather and gold. This is the reason why such Haute Couture products are very costly and purchased mainly by celebrities.
In recent times, the world famous haute couture houses that belong to the French fashion industry include but are not limited to: Christian Dior, Balenciaga, Pierre Cardin, Yves Saint Laurent, and Emmanuel Ungaro.
The history of French Wine began over two thousand years ago, when the region of modern France was occupied by the ancient Greeks. The Roman Empire also supported the manufacture of wine in France. There were benefits and special permits issued by the empire. St.Martin of Tours preached the Christian religion and also explained the potential in developing vineyards to the French. This was the reason why, until the time of the French Revolution, the major vineyards were owned by the monasteries. They were also responsible for preserving the early technique of wine production when the region of modern France was under different pressures during the Medieval Era, the period which started in the fifth century and lasted for a thousand years.
Because the French wine industry, which was run by French monestaries until the early eighteenth century, had flourished on a large scale, it gave the church an enormous amount of control over the economy of the region. In the last quarter of the eighteenth century, this system collapsed and the ruling dynasty took control, which led to the downfall of the French wine industry as it was known then. Immediately after this power struggle took place, the yields in the French vineyards were profoundly affected by an epidemic of Mildew a botanical disease called Grape Phylloxera, causing a great deal of harm to the crops. Major vineyards were destroyed due to this epidemic, which in turn weakened the French economy like never before. The downfall of the French wine industry further continued due to the two world wars. It was only in the second half of the twentieth century that the French wine industry picked up again with support from the government.
In the twentieth century two important organizations were formed in France for the regulation and protection of the French wine industry. These organizations were namely the Appellation d'origine controlee and the Institut National des Appellations d'Origine.
The former organization was formed mainly to protect the French wine at its place of origin while the latter was to control the French wine processing systems.
In modern times, the various names of French wines reflect the location of the vineyards from which the grapes used for making the brand originated. Sometimes, the same region may have two different varieties of grapes and thus each region may manufacture one or more brands of wine. Some of these varieties include Sauvignon Blanc in Loire, Chardonnay in Bourgogne and Cabernet Sauvignon in Bordeaux.
Wine producing regions of France
There are more than ten highly active wine producing regions of France that have been providing optimum quality wines that are well known throughout the world. Some of these wine producing regions of France include but are not limited to: Champagne, Loire Valley, Bordeaux, Medoc, Burgundy, Alsace, Beaujolais, Languedoc, Jura, Rhone Valley, Savoy and Provence.
Located in the northeastern part of France, the wine producing region of Champagne can be found 100 miles east of Paris. One of the oldest wine producing regions of France, Champagne was promoted by the eighth century Frankish King Charles the Great. Champagne has the lowest average temperatures of the wine producing regions of France during the major part of the year. This is the reason why the grapes produced in this region have a higher acidic level than grapes produced in other regions, which is suidiv for the production of wine. The other reason for the distinct taste is the chalky soil in this region. Champagne is divided into five wine producing districts according to the local administration regulations.
Champagne is the sparkling wine that is mainly produced in the region of Champagne and the name of this wine is protected for wine produced specifically in this province of France. This regulation is honored by law in numerous countries around the world. The taste of the Champagne depends on the blending of incredients, and, in modern times, different blending types are used depending on whether one requires vintage champagne or the non vintage type. The various famous brands of Champagne from this wine producing region of France are Moet & Chandon, Bollinger, Heidsieck, Krug, Mumm and Taittinger.
Bordeaux is one of the largest wine producing regions of France. Like the region of Champagne, Bordeaux has a long history of producing wines which dates back to the first century, when the region of Bordeaux was under the control of the Romans. The wine made in this wine producing region of France was primarily supplied to the Roman defense forces in the first century. It had gained higher significance during the rule of King Henry II in the twelfth century, a monarch who was very much interested in the wine manufacturing and exporting business.
Bordeaux is the second biggest vine producer in the world. It is located close to the sea and therefore the climate in this region is quite humid. The major wine produced in this wine producing region of France is red wine.
Agriculture in France
The revenue generated from agriculture in France contributes to around 4% of the GDP of France and employs about 5% of the national labor force. After the United States, France exports the second highest amount of agricultural produce worldwide. France is also the only country in Europe that produces nearly all types of food crops and is totally independent from any other country in terms of food production. Out of the total land in France, 60% is used for agriculture”which is equivalent to 34% of the total agricultural land of the entire European Union. Out of the total land used for agriculture, 75% is used for growing crops while other 25% are used for pastures and meadows.
The important crops”like sugar beets, wheat and cereal crops”are grown in the Paris basin and northern regions of France. Fruits and vegedivs are grown in the central areas of France and in some extreme southern areas where there is moderate climate. Flowers are grown in the southeastern region of France, which has a Mediterranean climate. The perfume manufacturing industry is concentrated in this area. The world famous aspects of agriculture in France are the vineyards located mostly in the central region of France, which lies in the semi oceanic climatic zone. The major vineyards in France are located at Alsace, Champagne, the Loire Valley, Bordeaux, Medoc, Burgundy, Beaujolais, Languedoc, Jura, Rhone Valley, Savoy and Provence.
The other significant sector of agriculture in France is the diary industry, as well as cattle, goat and sheep rearing, and poultry farming. The French dairy industry is concentrated in western parts of the country. Its highest production is cheese that is consumed at domestic level and is one of France's important agricultural exports. The cattle rearing for beef production is in the north and west while goat and sheep farming is done in the eastern parts of the country. The poultry industry is spread across nearly all parts of the country. France is the leading beef and chicken producer of the European Union. It therefore has excess quantities of beef and chicken, two of the important agricultural commodities that are exported from France to various countries in Europe.
Owing to the old agricultural practices that involved high levels of chemical fertilizers and insecticides, the soil in France has been degraded to such and extent that it has started to affect the agricultural production adversely. To overcome this problem, the French government recently implemented new policies and has started promoting organic farming on a massive scale throughout the country.
Aerospace industry of France
According to the analysis done in the year 2008, France is the leading country in Europe that has a vertically developed Aerospace industry, which is worth around $15 billion. In recent years, other countries like the United Kingdom and Germany are gearing up, and observers predict that these players will overtake France in the field of the aerospace industry sometime in the near future. They claim that France's aerospace industry is multifaceted. This is mainly because it has different branches, such as the development of passenger aircrafts for civil applications, jets for the defense forces, avionics, helicopters, weapons and other aeronautical projects.
The aerospace industry in France is influenced by the European Aeronautical, Defense, and Space Company (EADS) and the French corporation Aerospatiale Matra, which has shares in EADS. The European Aeronautical, Defense and Space Company is a company jointly incorporated by the aerospace players from Germany, Spain and France in the beginning of the new millennium. Aerospatiale Matra serves as the representative of EADS in France. Aerospatiale Matra is involved not only in the development of the airbus and jets, but also in space crafts and sophisticated missiles. Besides Aerospatiale Matra, France has several enterprises of various sizes that are part of the Aerospace industry in France.
The regions of Aquitaine and Midi-Pyrenees in the southeast are the primaru locations in France where the major aerospace and related industries have been developed over the years. There are thousands of enterprises that are spread across these two regions of France. Apart from these manufacturers, there are aeronautical research and development institutes owned either by public or private organizations, aerospace universities and many different engineering colleges.
Along with these, the French government has taken several new aerospace industry research and development initiatives for these regions to implement in the following years to boost the industry. This cluster of the aerospace industry of France generates employment for over 100,000 job seekers and seems to grow with the progress in the markets. This aerospace industrial cluster in France is also linked with other aerospace industry clusters from different developed nations in Europe.
Some of the significant recent developments of the aerospace industry of France include the development of Airbus A3XX series, the A400M along with combat aircraft like Mirage F1, Mirage 2000, Mirage III and Mirage V.
Nuclear power in France
France is one of the leading countries in the world with regard to generation of electricity from nuclear power, ranking second after the United States of America. Today, nearly 75% of the electricity generated in France is from nuclear power plants while the remaining 25% is mainly from hydroelectric power plants. Electricite de France (EDF) is the principal corporation responsible for power generation and distribution in France. In recent years, it has been observed that nuclear power in France has made EDF the highest electricity producing corporation in European Union, and the biggest exporter of electricity in Europe.
Some claim that nuclear power generation research started in France in last few decades of the nineteenth century. France was gifted with two world famous nuclear science researchers, namely, Marie and Pierre Curie, who contributed a lot to the early research of nuclear energy with in the country. France administers the nuclear science research and development through its governmental agency Commissariat a l'Energie Atomique (CEA). CEA performs basic and in detail research in various fields of nuclear science. These fields include nuclear reactors, applications in medical fields, applications in seismology propagation and development of multipurpose ICs. The CEA is also responsible for work on research and developments of nuclear weapons. In recent decades, CEA and AREVA, a global leader in nuclear reactors, have formed AREVA NP, which is solely responsible for developing modernized nuclear reactors in France.
There are more than 50 reactors that produce nuclear power in France. These reactors fall in three groups, classified on the basis of their capacity to produce electricity. They are classified as: i) 900 MW, ii) 1300 MW and iii) 1450 MW capacity nuclear reactors. France has thirty-three nuclear reactors of 900 MW capacity, twenty nuclear reactors of 1300 MW capacity and four nuclear reactors that can produce more that 1450MW of electric power. The 900 MW nuclear reactors were built during the years when nuclear power in France was first introduced. The first one began functioning during the year 1970, while the rest were constructed periodically over the following decade.
The major drawback of Nuclear power in France is that the water that is being used to cool the reactors is discharged at a higher temperature, which has severe effects on the environment. It has become difficult for the administration to control the development of heat waves while the hot water is returned to the environment. This is mainly because most of the reactors have been built away from the sea.
TGV in France
TGV is an abbreviation of Train a Grande Vitesse, which is a term denoting the high speed trains in France. TGV is administered by the Societe Nationale des Chemins de fer Francais (SNCF), a French government agency that looks after the operations of trains in France. After the development of the first bullet train in Japan, the idea of making a high speed train network in France came to light and the French nodal agency SNCF took the responsibility of developing high speed trains in cooperation with ALSTOM. The first prototype, TGV 001, was rolled out in the year 1973.
The TGV 001 was designed to function on gas turbines, which subsequently proved to be non-feasible due to several technical and commercial reasons. In subsequent years, the technology shifted from gas turbines to electricity, as excess amounts of electricity were generated from the Nuclear power plants. The first TGV that functioned on electricity started serving the people of Paris in the year 1981. The high speed of the TGV in France is mainly due to the specially crafted high speed lines, electric motors with heavy capacities, axles designed with less weight, bigger wheels, and the aerodynamic shape of the coaches that reduces the friction against the air at high speeds.
TGV in France was introduced mainly for the business population. That is one of the reasons why, after the first launch of TGV in 1981 from Paris to Lyon, further lines were developed that kept Paris as the center for operations. TGV in France is mainly a source of transport for passengers only, and it is not used for freight transport except for the postal department in France. The higher speed and comfordiv travel without bumps has made TGV a choice of several business executives, which has directly affected the business of domestic airlines in France. There is a fleet of about 400 TGVs in France that is operated today by the SCNF. The total network of specialized lines runs to around 1800 kilometers in France. TGV in France offers first and second class accomodations. There are also duplex TGV trains that have two floored seating capacity.
The TGV in France has broken several international records for fast moving scheduled trains. The TGV in France first broke the world record of 320.2 mph in the year 1990. The other record of fastest long distance was set by TGV Reseau at 190 mph in the year 2001. In the year 2007, the TGV POS crossed the speed mark of 357. 2 mph, making it the fastest train in the world.
Trains in France
The trains in France have a history of over one hundred fifty years. Trains in France were introduced in the year 1832. Although the first train was started early in France, there were no developments in this field due to restrictions on financial investments by private players. The actual development happened only after ten years, when the Government of France took over the control over the industry. The government had entered into a public private partnership, which helped ensure faster development of railroad infrastructure, including tunnels, bridges and rail tracks for long distance travel. In the beginning of the twentieth century, the development of trains in France was set back due to the construction of a new network of roads. Eventually, the French Government took complete control over the railroad industry. The governing body, Societe Nationale des Chemins de fer Francais (SNCF), was established in the year 1938.
France today has a rail network of over 30,000 kilometers. The complete network of the trains is governed by SNCF. Until recent years, the tracks, trains and other railway infrastructures were owned by SNCF. Now, another government agency, the Reseau Ferre de France, owns the tracks and infrastructure while the trains are under SNCF's control. The Train a Grande Vitesse (TGV) and the Reseau Express Regional (RER) are both owned by the SNCF. The safety regulations for private trains are drafted by the SNCF and generally have very strict norms to ensure the safety of the passengers. These formalities are seen as a hurdle in more companies entering this industry of trains in France. The SNCF has recently replaced all of its trains that ran on fossil fuels with trains that run on electricity, which is generally generated from nuclear power plants.
The TGV is the network of high speed trains in France, which can run up to 198 miles per hour. The TGV networks are spread across the country and are used for long distance travel. The TGV has a first class and second class accomodations. The first class has powered control seats for reclining”not the case in second class. There are duplex TGV trains in France that have seating arrangements on two floors. These trains have a cafÃ© bar that serves food at an extra cost. Apart from these high speed trains there are other trains in France, called Corail Teoz, which run at the speed of 125 miles per hour. The Corail Teoz trains provide sleeper facility that makes traveling comfordiv and efficient.