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France, the turnkey solution for industrial investment

To accelerate and strengthen industrial presence in France, the French government has launched the “ready to use industrial sites” program. With this innovative initiative, investors now have a list of turnkey industrial sites meeting their needs in lead times, services, and infrastructure.

The French industry is attractive 

France is the first European receiver of FDIs in the industrial sector. This attractivity is fueled by the dynamism of the business environment, fostering strong entrepreneurship, especially in the industrial sector, with the creation of over 38,100 industrial companies over the last year.   

France also offers one of the best tax treatments for R&D in OECD countries. It is indeed one of the country’s priorities to encourage innovation in its ecosystem, demonstrated by an R&D expenditure of over €20 million by its manufacturing sector.   

Since 2017, the country’s industrial diversity is united under La French Fab, the national flagship brand that embodies the entire French industrial ecosystem. It carries deep ambitions for the French industrial sector:  

Such ambitions are put into action through programs such as “Territoires d’Industrie”. This initiative comprises over 500 inter-municipalities, and it will have a budget of €1,3 billion by 2022. It aims to promote the attractiveness of territories and industry trades while facilitating the training, recruitment, and mobility of employees to meet companies’ workforce needs. It also contributes to supporting businesses and regions in digital and ecological transitions and speeding up administrative procedures. In total, there are 148 “Territoires d’Industrie” in France.  

Read more: #FranceRelance, €7 billion to support technology and innovation

Making a move to France easy for international industrial investors

As part of France’s efforts to increase the attractiveness of its territory for the industrial sector and following a call for projects by the Delegation to Industrial Territories, the regions have identified “turnkey or ready-to-use sites.” The aim is to target foreign investors’ needs and ease their establishment in the French territories.   

The ambition behind this call for action was to speed up the procedures required for an industrial actor to establish its activities in France.  

There are currently 78 “ready-to-use” sites all over the country. Those sites allow investors immediate or very short-term availability, in the sense that administrative procedures relative to urban planning and environment and preventive archeology have been pre-done.  These preventive procedures enable industrial investors to start in their new premises in a more controlled timeframe.

Read more: Ready to use industrial sites, a strategy at the service of businesses

What is a “ready-to-use” site?  

Each region established a certain number of turnkey sites. In Normandy, there are three located close to the city of Rouen and two near Caen. The area hosts over 600 foreign companies and received 51 international investment projects in 2019.   

The site “Normand’Innov” illustrates well what we can expect to find in a turnkey industrial site.   

Established close to Caen, it offers complete access to infrastructures such as motorways, airports, railway, proximity to Le Havre port (one of the country’s largest), and the cross-Channel Waterways. The site is already connected to several services such as water systems, electricity and gas, sanitation and cafeteria, and fiber access.   

The site is in the Orne department: one of the leading economic centers with over 1,700 employees on-site and the region’s 2nd largest urban hub. It hosts over 4,000 companies with a broad interest in advanced technology and R&D. An increasing number of firms have chosen to set-up their businesses there, as well as training and research centers.   

Therefore, the site offers extraordinary opportunities for partnerships and specific public aids, such as corporate tax exemptions for five years as the campus is in an AFR zone.

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Article written by Raphaëlle Delin