With a robust 85 million tourists recorded last year, France is undoubtedly the most visited country on the planet. With the migration numbers increasing by 20% in the last seven years, we can say that its tourist attractions, high culture, and exquisite cuisines are their most effective advertisements for those thinking of settling down abroad.
But how is life in Europe’s most popular jewel compared to the Land Down Under? Let’s find out.
Doing business in France can be a bane and a boom, depending if you can survive the challenges or not.
With a 64 million-population with very good purchasing powers, France offers a large market and many opportunities. This market is completely open to competitions, so any new players are welcomed. Add to that the many qualified workforce capable of supporting your business. Also, the country has well-designed and efficient infrastructures that makes the transport of goods and products very dynamic.
On the other hand, there are obstacles. It takes a while and a lot of government procedures to go through to set up shop in France. These include dealing with permits (takes 5 to 6 months), having your business registered (it takes two months), and trading across borders (11 days before you import and nine to export), among others.
Also, tax rates can be burdensome, ranging from 14% in the lower threshold up to 45% for the highest earners. France used to levy a gargantuan 75% super tax to those who earn €1 million and above. But has been since lifted for being “unconstitutional”.
Like in France, setting up a business in Australia has its share also of perks and challenges.
Australia’s ties and access to Asia Pacific – one of the fastest growing regions in the world – makes it a viable place to start a market-based business. Add to that the stable political climate, the continuously thriving economy, exceptional infrastructures, and ever-growing and handpicked workforce from around the world (skilled immigration here is strictly regulated and made sure adheres to Australia’s standards).
And like in France, this can be arduous and lengthy. The process includes applying for an Australian Business Number (ABN); registering your business name; and processing the registrations, licenses, insurance, and taxes for your business, among others. Each process takes a while and involves a lot of effort.
(Check here for a complete information on how to set up a business in Australia.)
France’s well-structured economy relies mainly on the chemical and tourism industry (it is the most visited country in the world). Other sectors supporting it are energy, agriculture, and weapons industry.
France has a well laid-out employment and salary system. It guarantees a minimum hourly wage called the Salaire Minimum Interprofessionnel de Croissance or SMIC of €9.67 or AU$ 14.98 per hour. Annually, it would gross to €17,600 or AU$27,265. An employee cannot be paid lower than this amount. Companies are required to negotiate the annually regarding annual pays with employees each year.
The Temps de travail dictates the legal working hours of 35 hours. This is a fixed number and applies to all employees except those in sales services, executives, building care takers, domestic staffs, and other employees with special working conditions.
Australia’s federal structure allows it to focus on disparate economic sectors to support the country. These include manufacturing, agriculture, services, finance, tourism, media, education and the recently booming mining industry.
The country’s minimum wage stands at AU$17.29 per hour or AU$31,531 annually. As of February 2015, the largest employers are health care and social assistance, retail trade, construction, scientific and technical services, and the manufacturing industries.
Though the country enforces a 40-hour work week, the average working hour in Australia is lower at 32 hours per week. Like in France, this cannot be strictly applied to professions with special working conditions.
The French government and its agencies finance as high as 77% of the country’s health care expenditure. In 2011, approximately 12% of its GDP are spent on health care, a very high figure compared to how much each European countries spend on their health care.
Despite this, it is mandatory that all citizens pay insurance of which contribution is based on income. This system is generally financed through taxation. The health care service system is composed of a fully-consolidated network of public hospitals, private hospitals, doctors and other medical service providers with a robust 23,000 general practitioners in its disposal.
Australia’s health care system operates on a centralized level, and is administered by both private and government institutions. The state and territory governments manage aspects of health care within their jurisdictions, such as the operation of hospitals.
It is two-pronged. There is the private health system, and there is the Medicare. The latter is funded partly by a 2% Medicare levy (with exceptions for low-income earners), with the rest being supplied by government. An additional levy of 1% is imposed on high-income earners without private health insurance. Death rate from medical care in the country is reportedly one of the lowest in the English-speaking world. It is lower than that of the USA and UK.
To find out more about how Australia’s healthcare system works, check our blog here.
Looking for a place to stay in the country can be quite a staggering task, especially in the cities where the demand for rental accommodations is tremendous, which leads to high prices as well. As opposed to other European countries (where renting is a norm), only 40% of France’s population rent their home, and most of them located in cities and urban areas. The house-owners are generally in the rural places.
And since the country is dominantly owner-occupied, finding a place to rent can be a challenge. This lead the government to push through housing reforms like rental caps to provide accommodations to its citizens.
Unlike France, owning a house is yet to be a norm in Australia. Approximately 33% of residents here lives in a fully owned properties, 31.4% rents their home, while 35%of homes are mortgaged. Factors contributing here include the soaring house prices, as well as consideration of proximity to work (Australia is a huge country).
Expectedly, rents are cheaper in rural than urban areas. It’s also lower the further a property is from a large city or town, public transport or other facilities. The average rents are highest in Sydney, Melbourne and Darwin.
One of the busiest and densest in the world, France’s transport system is composed of 146 kilometers of road and 6.2 kilometers of rail lines per 100 square kilometers. Rail transport include the metros (rapid transit) which services six cities and the trams which runs on two dozen cities and towns. Despite the monopoly of railway transports, buses are also introduced to provide more conduits of getting around. Taxis also operate in the country.
A one way train ticket here costs AU$2.47, while a monthly pass is at around AU$95.51 Starting taxi tariff is AU$5.00 with AU$7.71 for the first one kilometer. A Volkswagen Golf 1.4 90 KW Trendline (Or Equivalent New Car) will set you back AU$29,316. Gasoline is at AU$1.99 for every litter.
All of Australian cities have reliable, affordable public bus networks and train lines, plus taxis operate nationwide. These train lines include commuter rail networks, trams, light rails, and rapid transits. Despite this, driving is the most used mode of transport, and this number continues to rise. It is followed by train, walking (the country has a very good culture of walking), bus, and lastly, train.
Fares are pricier here compared to France. A one-way ticket sets you back by AU$4.00 while going for a monthly pass will increase it by AU$130.00. A kilometer ride of taxi is AU$2.17. If you want your own car, A Volkswagen Golf 1.4 90 KW Trendline (or any equivalent new car) will cost you AU$25,000.00 plus 1.32 AU$ for every litter of gasoline.
Four expansive climatic zones influence the weather patterns in France. West of the line Bayonne-Lille is in the humid seaboard zone with cooler summers. Alsace-Lorraine along the Rhodanian corridor and the mountainous massifs (Alps, Pyrenees, Massif Central) are in the semi-continental zone with intense winters and tropical summers. While Paris and the central region are in the intermediate zone with cold winters and hot summers in the North. And south of France is in the Mediterranean zone with mellow winters and quite hot summers.
The Land Down Under experiences an assortment of climates also due to its size. It can range from severely hot in the Kimberley region in the north-west of the continent to below zero in the Snowy Mountains in the south. And due to its size, there just can’t be one seasonal calendar for the whole continent.
The seasons will vary depending upon where in the continent you are each month, whether the weather is defined by the Temperate zone seasons or the tropical seasons. To find out more what is the climate and weather patterns in each of the states in the country, check our blog here.
Advantages of becoming a French Citizen include:
Advantages of Australian Citizenship include:
For a more detailed information about these benefits, check our blog here.
In terms of economy, both France and Australia are structurally sound, so the benefits of finding a job and there overruns the risks in the long run. Both nations are also hot beds for brave entrepreneurs and business owners looking to start or expand their trade. The tasks required for starting are laborious and time-consuming, but pays off due to both country’s expansive market and efficient workforce.
Also, both countries bathe in a Mediterranean climate, mostly warmer than most of United Kingdom. And they sport slow and laidback lifestyles, perfect when you want a good work-life balance and/or raising a family. Also, both counties enjoy very low crime rates.
The difference though lies in those little details, albeit having huge impacts to the day-to-day life.
If you appreciate European culture, appreciates French cuisine, and loves to see beautiful places within a few hours of travel, then France is the better pick. Also, the French are fashion-inclined people, what with their annual Fashion weeks and multilayer clothing. France society and culture has also the propensity to operate on strict protocols, as everything should be done “the French way.”
Australia, on the other hand is an assimilation of European, American, and aboriginal influences, in culture, food, and lifestyle. It is also packed with must see places, both natural and man-made, but traveling takes an effort since it’s a huge country. Aussies inclined more on function than fashion, except in business, in which they seriously follow rules. Social protocols in Australia are a bit more lax than in France, but there a range of etiquettes to abide, especially when it comes to mateship.