Why invest in France? 5 good reasons to set up your business in Atlantic France

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More and more international companies are setting up businesses in Atlantic France, the number one French region for quality of life1. Dynamic cities such as Nantes, Angers, Le Mans, Saint-Nazaire, Laval or La Roche-sur-Yon are very attractive and offer many advantages to entrepreneurs. 

Reason #1 – Corporate real estate is 4 times cheaper than in Paris

When the successful company Rosemood left Paris for Nantes, it was able to gain space for its head office. While the average rent of Parisian offices is around €500/m²/year (excluding tax), that of Loire-Atlantique is at 135 €/m²/year2.

The same is true for buying land and properties, which are a fourth of the price in comparison with the capital. And yet, the TGV high-speed rail service makes it feel like Paris is right on your doorstep! Taking only 55 mins from Le Mans and with 20 return trips leaving Nantes every day. 

Saving on real estate is a great opportunity, whether to reduce investment risk or to aim for  larger premises and anticipate further recruitment.

Reason #2 – An amazing quality of life

According to a BVA survey in 2018, Atlantic France is the number one French region for  quality of life: 96% of the inhabitants declared they were satisfied with their quality of life and the same proportion with their quality of worklife.

The region is ideal to settle down with a family. First because flats and houses are much cheaper than in Paris: the average price there is €10,000/m², whereas it is €4,100/m² in Nantes and €1,556/m² in La Roche-sur-Yon3. Atlantic France’s well preserved countryside is composed of vineyards, 450 km of coastline and 2,800 km of cycle routes. Some people go to work riding their bike along the Loire, others end the day surfing or dining in a Michelin star restaurant…

The cultural life is also vibrant, with a rich and eclectic program: the Machines de l’Île, La Folle Journée, Hellfest, the Vendée Globe, 24 Hours of Le Mans, etc. With 25.2% of young people under the age of 25 and ongoing amazing projects like the Heron Tree in Nantes, this dynamism will not falter.

Reason #3 – Accessible and efficient transport infrastructure

Never isolated! With 527 regional trains per day, 131 stations, 433 km of national roads, the municipalities and activity zones remain easily connected. In the biggest cities, efficient networks combine tram, bus and self-service bicycles.

Six motorways (660 km of lanes) connect Le Mans, Laval, Angers, Cholet, Nantes, La Roche sur Yon, Fontenay-le-Comte and also allow movement between the neighbouring French regions. 20 TGV arrive in Paris every day. Nantes Atlantique is the most important airport in Northwestern France and is connected with 120 destinations in the world. Last but not least, maritime transport is eased by Nantes Saint-Nazaire Port, the number one port on the Atlantic coast.

Reason #4 – A confirmed economic dynamism

128,000 SMEs and 26,731 companies created in 2018: the key figures illustrate the good economic health of the region. They are often the best in France, for example in job creation, which increased by 2.8% in 2017 (strongest national progression), or for the unemployment rate (7.8%, the lowest in France).

The dynamism is reinforced by a tight network of innovative SMEs and by leading markets such as agrifood, tourism, digital, aeronautics (with Airbus), sailing, etc. The combination of the energy and digital industries constitutes a lever of important development.

Reason #5 – The ability to do and succeed together

In Atlantic France, everybody works together: entrepreneurs, elected officials, training organizations, socio-economic stakeholders and many others.

More than 150 R&D laboratories, 4 technopoles and 5 technocampuses (Composites, Ocean, Smart factory, Food and Electronics) are collaborating effectively in business development. 10 competitiveness clusters and numerous clusters also support innovative companies.

The region offers unique business opportunities, a dedicated support for internationally-owned companies and a large pool of skills which will facilitate the installation of any business.

For an establishment or a relocation, these regional specificities can combine with tailor-made advantages that our business advisers unearth for each project: let’s talk about yours!

1 BVA survey in 2018
2 Source: BureauxLocaux
3 Best Agent price estimation – November 1, 2019

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