Teaming up to promote the Fos manufacturing and port zone in China

Teaming up to promote the Fos manufacturing and port zone in China
05 November 2018 / Eco-industries, Grow your business, invest in provence, Logistics, Start your business

The territory's industrial and logistics platforms are promoted at the "China International Import Expo" in Shanghai

Between November 5 and 10, Shanghai will be even more prominent as the world's trade capital when it hosts the first edition of the China International Import Expo. Some 5,000 foreign exhibitors will be vying to sell their products and services to this potentially enormous market. It is an especially strategic opportunity for France and its regions, which are joining forces at the France pavilion at Business France. One of the highlights of the event will be the "Choose France" seminar on November 6. The seminar will highlight all the assets of the Marseille-Fos industrial park and port complex for an audience of Chinese manufacturers. It has been just 10 days since Quechen Silicon Chemical, the world's third-largest silicon company, confirmed it will be building a factory in Fos. Riding high on this achievement, Fos is pulling out all the stops to win over new investors.

In mid-October, the Marseille-Fos Port Authority signed a lease commitment to expand its complex with the European factory of the silicon giant Quechen Silicon Chemical. Besting 28 other European sites, this major coup was made possible by the support of many economic actors and the economic development agency Provence Promotion, which assisted the deal at every step of the process.

Building on two years of close collaboration which culminated with the Quechen plant in Fos, Provence Promotion and the port authority are arranging their first joint mission overseas to capitalize on this success and showcase the attractiveness of the manufacturing and port complex. Thus, they will be participating together in the China International Import Expo taking place right now in Shanghai.

There will be 10 days of meetings, business appointments and events in which the South Provence-Alps-Côte d’Azur region will take part at the France pavilion, a stand occupying 136 m2 in the "Invest & Trade" hall. China is no longer just the world's factory; it is also a tremendous market with colossal needs. The country is a formidable outlet for Western companies. At this very moment, 150,000 visitors are eagerly exploring the goods and services presented by 5,000 foreign exhibiting companies. 

"Instead of selling products, we are offering a business site"

Exhibiting, yes, but more importantly, convincing. That is the goal of the "Choose France" seminar taking place on the afternoon of November 6, which will shine a light on the advantages of French excellence as embodied by the specific strengths of each region. "Instead of selling products, we are offering a business site," explains Philippe Stéfanini, Director of Provence Promotion. Stéfanini was tapped to host the panel discussion "Marseille, a Manufacturing and Port Complex Open to Chinese Investment", which will feature testimonials from major names in shipping and manufacturing.

Alongside Regional Council Member Bernard Kleynoff and the representative of the Export-Import Bank of China, Rodolphe Saadé, CEO of CMA CGM, will present the company's investments in China and the ever-expanding maritime offer. Total China will explain the project under way to convert the Berre site to a biorefinery. The Chairwoman of the GPMM Management Board, Christine Cabau-Woehrel, will remind attendees of how pivotal Marseille-Fos is to trade with China, the Mediterranean basin and Africa.

Its appeal is reinforced by the Caban-Tonkin Industrial and Innovation Platform (PIICTO), where manufacturers are organized into a circular economy in which they trade raw materials amongst themselves. Given the availability of real estate, Chinese companies are encouraged to follow Quechen's example and respond to the Provence Industry'Nov call for projects launched last spring by the region's local governments and industrial leaders (Kem One, LyondellBassell, Total). As the Belt and Road Initiative comes online, Marseille-Fos is strategically positioned vis-à-vis Chinese investors.