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Why live or invest in the south of France?

Why live or invest in the south of France?

The South Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur Region has real assets for investors: accessibility, leadership, capacity to innovate, industry of the future, new technologies, sectors of excellence, art of living... discover the 10 good reasons to invest in the South Region.

Emblematic of the French way of life, the Southern Region is a great place to invest thanks to our business ecosystem, our natural assets and our efforts to facilitate links between the different regions.




• A region connected to the world

• The region offers ideal infrastructures for investors in the industrial, maritime, renewable energy and logistics sectors. The Grand Port Maritime de Marseille, France's leading port, is the natural gateway to southern Europe. It is an ideal solution for accessing French, European, African and Middle Eastern markets. Companies can also rely on the ports of Nice and Toulon (Europe's leading military port).

• A geostrategic position and great accessibility, 3 hours from Paris

• 4 international airports, including Nice Côte d'Azur (2nd largest airport in France in terms of passenger numbers) and Aixe-Marseille Provence (2nd largest airport in France for express freight), the South-East TGV high-speed train service and a major motorway network




• A leading economic region
• 3rd richest region in France: regional GDP of €152bn
• France's leading region for leisure and business tourism, with an average of 34 million visitors per year, including 700,000 Chinese tourists
• Contribution to France's GDP: 7.1
• 5 million inhabitants - 4 metropolitan areas (Aix-Marseille, Nice, Toulon, Grand Avignon)
• More than 1,000 km of coastline
• Nearly 500,000 companies




• Flagship French companies located in the region
• L'Occitane en Provence: flagship group in the beauty care and high quality perfume industry in Provence
• Saint-Gobain: leader in the production, transformation and distribution of products for the construction of high performance materials
• Naval Group: world leader in naval defence
• ARD: specialises in multi-application solutions for communicating objects
• for Cafés Malongo: French specialist in high-end coffee




• A region at the forefront of innovation
• The Southern Region employs nearly 70,000 people in the digital sector
• The largest technology park in Europe, Sophia-Antipolis (1,400 companies - over 70 nationalities)
• It has an exceptional combination of 8 competitiveness clusters, research centres, 4 leading universities, 300 public research laboratories, 8 world-renowned laboratories, industrial associations, technology platforms, technology transfer specialists, start-up incubators and accelerators run by major international groups
• 4 "French Tech" ecosystems
• Marseille, the 5th most competitive destination in Europe for its R&D centres and Nice, the only French city in Juniper Research's top 20 Smart Cities




• A region that attracts talent
• 1,800 foreign-owned companies established, representing 75,000 jobs: Amadeus, Airbus helicopters, Gemalto, etc.
• 84 new foreign investment projects in 2016, representing over 2,375 jobs created or maintained.
• Preferred location for foreign research laboratories, on a par with Ile-de-France
• The largest university in France: Aix-Marseille University, with 77,000 students, including more than 10,000 foreign students
• Major schools: Institut d'Études Politiques d'Aix-en-Provence, École Polytech Nice-Sophia, École Centrale de Marseille, EDHEC Business School in Nice, etc.




• Sectors of excellence
• Industries of the Future: with more than 23,000 industrial companies (2nd region in France in terms of industrial patent applications) - leaders in aeronautics (Airbus Helicopters), space (Thalès), defence (Naval Group), maritime industry (CMA CGM, CNIM), cosmetics (L'Occitane).
• Smart tech: 22,000 companies, including more than 180 tech champions, 1st territory in the Mediterranean for Data Centers - 1st European interconnection platform with 16 submarine cables linking Europe to the main networks in Africa, the Middle East and Asia.
• Innovative therapies are a priority sector and benefit from a powerful ecosystem, making the Southern Region the 2nd largest in France for clinical trials. A specific positioning in immunology, neurosciences, infectiology and rare diseases.
• New energies: a leading region in terms of intelligent electrical networks and hydroelectric production, the leading French region for sunshine, Smart Mountains and a world-class nuclear project with ITER.
• Naturalness, cosmetics and agri-food (fruit & vegetables): extraction from plants. Flavours, which constitute an emblematic pole: they represent 50% of French production; 8% of the world turnover in this sector comes from Grasse, which exports 70% of its production. This know-how is listed as part of the intangible cultural heritage of humanity by Unesco.




• A course: to become the 1st Smart Region in Europe
The objective: to make the Southern Region the 1st Smart Region in Europe, an intelligent and connected region thanks to innovation and new digital technologies, with, for example, the Flexgrid project for the large-scale deployment of intelligent electrical networks in the region (Smart grids).




• Major structuring projects
• ITER (International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor) in Cadarache: a global fusion energy research programme
• Euroméditerranée-Marseille: urban renewal and economic development programme
• Eco-Valley Plaine du Var
• Henri Fabre project, which aims to build a new industrial development model




• A thousand-year-old heritage and culture
• 400 museums including 5 national museums: Picasso Museum in Vallauris, Mucem in Marseille, National Sports Museum and Chagall Museum in Nice, Fernand Léger Museum in Biot
• 220 festivals, including several of international renown: Cannes International Film Festival, Aix-en-Provence International Festival of Lyric Art, Avignon Theatre Festival
• Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur, the cradle of cinema: more than 1,500 filming days per year
• An exceptional historical heritage with 2,200 listed monuments and 5 sites listed as world heritage by Unesco




• A legendary way of life
• 300 days of sunshine a year
• One of the only European regions to offer landscapes between sea and mountains: 1,000 km of coastline, 68 winter sports resorts, 9 regional nature parks and 4 national parks
• Scents, flavours and quality products: olives and olive oils, rosé wines, honey, lavender, Provencal herbs, calissons from Aix-en-Provence, berlingots from Carpentras, navettes au four from Marseille, Provencal tapenade, pissaladière from Nice, Poutargue or caviar from Martigues... but also perfumes from Grasse, tableware from the Biot glassworks, earthenware from Moustiers, Marseille soaps and essential oils, fabrics from the Camargue...


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