Companies that chose France: Genesis Projects
The entrepreneur Hannes Wilke trusted Business France to help him set up his aluminium business in France. He founded his company in 1998 and wanted to expand its activities abroad.
Tell us more about you and your company, Genesis Projects?
I am a South African businessman that started my own business in 1998. Over the years I have grown into, what I consider to be an aluminium specialist. I design my own aluminium profiles according to the application it is intended for.
We are constantly researching new products and markets.
Why did you choose France to develop your business?
I think I can honestly say that France chose me and not the other way around. Due to the language difficulty, the country was never an option for us as a country to emigrate to. However, after doing a project for two French businessmen, they suggested that I relocate the business to France as things in SA were getting tough due to a shrinking economy. In retrospect I believe it was the best decision that we took to relocate to France.
My products are mostly related to the airport industry, and France is in the middle of a big market for our products.
What kind of support did you receive from Business France in your plan to set up in France?
I can honestly say that it would have been VERY difficult to setup the business in France without the help of Business France. The following were facilitated by BF:
- Assisting with information for the application for Talent Passports for my wife and me.
- Information on company registration, ZRR zones, information on tax requirements.
- Setting up meetings with DevUp in the regions where the business might settle.
- The eventual application for and issue of the Talent Passports from within France instead of SA was probably the BIGGEST contribution in our instance. This was only possible through BF intervention through their contacts where it mattered.
“I can honestly say that it would have been VERY difficult to setup the business in France without the help of Business France. “
Which advice would you give to a company considering setting up in France/abroad?
Don’t even think of trying to do it on your own. Business France assistance is free of charge, efficient and their commitment to the subsequent successful implementation of all is unparalleled.
Furthermore, don’t get into a hurry. Things in France happens, but it happens very slow.
Hannes Wilke, Genesis Project.
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