Provence Promotion, 20 years and 1,200 companies welcomed

Provence Promotion, 20 years and 1,200 companies welcomed
04 April 2018 / doing business in provence, invest in provence, Start your business

Numerous prospecting missions and a proactive methodology to get ahead of projects

Since it was created 20 years ago, the Aix-Marseille-Provence economic development agency has attracted 1,200 companies that have generated 30,000 jobs. Over the past four years, foreign firms have driven more than half of the region's business projects. The agency, which has gradually specialized in specific programs managed by experts, recently presented its results for 2017: 68 new companies decided to settle in Bouches-du-Rhône last year, an increase of 13% on 2016. 

Infosys, Sartorius, TBC, CFC Transports, NH Hoteles and Royal White Cement represent some of the 68 expansion projects managed by Provence Promotion in 2017, which are expected to generate 1,456 new jobs within three years. It should be noted that extensive background work carried out by the teams of Provence Promotion stands behind this figure.

“Our sector experts met over 700 companies, mostly during prospecting assignments,” points out Philippe Stéfanini, General Director of Provence Promotion.

“The French minister for the economy and finance, Bruno Lemaire, who recently presented the 2017 results regarding foreign investments in France, highlighted a national increase of 16% thanks to 1,298 foreign projects. Bouches-du-Rhône attracted 31 of these projects. We complete one investment project every two weeks,” noted Jean-Luc Chauvin, President of Provence Promotion, at the end of the board of directors’ meeting on April 3, 2018.

At a time of stiff competition between France’s regions to attract companies, Provence Promotion decided to go on the offensive. “We roll out the red carpet for investors but we favor a proactive approach. We go directly to companies to present them with a qualified offer,” explains Beatrice Aliphat, Vice-President of Provence Promotion and Industry delegate for Aix-Marseille-Provence.

Internationalization - an asset

Provence has pulled through thanks to the growing internationalization of the Aix-Marseille metropolis, its visibility abroad and its role as a bridgehead to Europe and Africa. The Indian group, Infosys preferred to open its third national office in Marseille rather than in Lyon. “CMA CGM convinced us to choose Marseille and our teams are enthusiastic about moving here,” explained Pascal Beignon, Director of Infosys France. The leader in IT consulting services wishes to capitalize on its expertise in information systems applied to logistics to win new business in countries that border the Mediterranean.

In the medical sector, the Swiss company, Multiwave Technologies opened an R&D subsidiary in Marseille last year. A manufacturer of next-generation MRI coils, Multiwave is preparing to test its prototypes at the Center for Magnetic Resonance in Biology and Medicine (CRMBM) in La Timone.

The international reach of Aix-Marseille University (AMU) constitutes the common thread between the Indian giant and the Swiss start-up. The region's academic research credentials also play a decisive role in a company's decision to expand here. For example, the joint work that has been conducted for several years by the research laboratory, Institut Fresnel and the National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS) encouraged Multiwave to choose Provence.