Marseille-Provence covets Chinese investors

Marseille-Provence covets Chinese investors
The Marseille-Provence delegation received in Qingdao last May
05 November 2019 - 08 November 2019 / invest in provence

A mission in the continuity of the actions undertaken

A delegation from Provence, organized by Provence Promotion, and formed of the Port of Marseille Fos, Euroméditerranée and Marseille-Provence Airport will take off for China at the beginning of November. This trip is one of a series of activities to which the economic development agency has committed to attract new Chinese investors to Provence and to position it on the new silk road. For the second consecutive year, the delegation will attend the China International Import Expo (CIIE) in Shanghai from November 5-8, 2019. Alongside this event, there will be meetings with entrepreneurs and potential investors in the Jiangsu region. The Qingdao Chamber of Commerce and the Groupement Maritime et Industriel de Fos et sa Région (GMIF) will sign an agreement.

The China International Import Expo (CIIE) is preparing to open its doors. For the second edition of the CIIE, from November 5-10, nearly 3,000 companies from 150 countries will present their products and services in Shanghai. Provence Promotion will once again be there as part of its shared mission with the port and the Marseille-Provence Airport, Euroméditerranée and the GMIF.

The aim is to attract investors like Quechen. Quechen is a Chinese silicon manufacturer which will soon be building its European silicon plant in Fos-sur-Mer, being convinced of the region’s assets and activities. “We’re going to Jiangsu, where Quechen is based. It is one of the richest regions in China. Their GDP per capita is the highest in the country, with a dense fabric of small and medium-sized businesses currently in development stages in Europe. Companies that we would like to attract to our region,” says Matthieu Vis, Head of International & Strategy for Provence Promotion. Through this visit, we also aim to consolidate the traffic of goods with the Port of Marseille Fos in the context of the silk routes. Meetings are planned with the Chinese authorities to discuss beginning regular flights between Marseille and Shanghai.

China, the Port of Marseille Fos’ biggest client, is the center of attention. “Meetings are planned with Chinese shippers and industrialists as part of joint prospecting with the port,” adds Matthieu Vis.

Tenth anniversary of the purchase of Baudouin motors

The Provençal delegation will coincide with the official visit of French President Emmanuel Macron. He will officially open the France de Business France pavilion, at which Provence will host an “Invest in Provence” space alongside CMA CGM, Total and Airbus, who are all very active in China. 2019 is also the tenth anniversary of the purchase of Baudoin Motors in Marseille by Weichai. Over the last decade, the Chinese group has invested €100 million to modernize the company. Weichai now has 170 employees in Cassis and has opened a subsidiary in China which has 90 employees.

On November 6, Provence Promotion will participate in the “Choose France” seminar, at the CCI France China in Shanghai, one of the highlights of the trip. The agency will present opportunities for investment in the region through three round table discussions on the best French subsidiaries and reforms to increase the attractiveness of France, and by presenting the country’s assets. In addition, Provence is home to the largest number of Chinese expatriate scientists thanks to the €20-billion ITER nuclear fusion project taking place across 35 countries.

With its top-level logistics, its openness to the world and its strategic position at the crossroads of Europe, Africa and the Middle East, Marseille-Provence is an economic and digital hub, which attracts an increasing number of Chinese companies. Proof of this interest is the colossal investment being made in placing undersea cables. In 2021, the Chinese PEACE (Pakistan and East Africa Connecting Europe) cable, will link Marseille to the Europe-Asia route. From the end of 2020, another important undersea cabling project (320 Tbps) being implemented by the Ella Link consortium, for an investment of $600 million, will allow Chinese telecoms operators to connect to Latin America without passing by the USA. A first! Which could push Marseille from tenth to fifth place in the world rankings for digital hubs, like London, Frankfurt, Amsterdam, Paris and Singapore.