Attractiveness: international investments in Atlantic France propel employment

#Industry #Insights&co #Manufacturing #Marinerenewableenergy

Amid the complexities of the international context, Atlantic France keeps attracting investors with a new record year in 2023. Thanks to foreign direct investment in the region, 4,656 jobs were created or maintained last year.

In 2023, Atlantic France secured 82 new foreign direct investment (FDI) projects, aligning seamlessly with the positive trajectory witnessed in 2021 and 2022. Despite global challenges, the region maintained a steady course, resulting in the creation or retention of 4,656 jobs—a notable 35% increase compared to 2022.

The key figures of international investment in Atlantic France in 2023

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international investment projects


jobs created or maintained


of projects are based in production activities

At Business Solutions Atlantic France, we conducted 373 meetings with new prospects, project leaders, and influencers in 2023. Additionally, we prepared 137 customised responses to investor queries. Out of the 82 projects initiated,  36 were a result of direct prospecting, with the rest stemming from the Business France network.

I’m delighted by this latest rise in international investment in our region, which confirms Atlantic France’s strong international appeal: a region recognised for its dynamism and that of its entrepreneurs, for its diversity, and for the ability of its players to be collective. And, because employment is at the heart of my priorities and my commitment, I’m particularly proud to see our region stand out with a very strong increase in the number of jobs created or maintained (+35% in one year!) They are a testament to the relevance and high quality of the projects. Our region is becoming increasingly recognised on the international stage.

Christelle Morançais, President of the Atlantic France Regional Council

Highly diversified international investments

The 82 investments made by internationally-owned companies in Atlantic France in 2023 include all types of projects, locations, origins, and sectors.

Two-thirds of expansions

Examining the nature of investment projects, over two-thirds are associated with expansions. This includes 44 expansions, 7 merger expansions, and 8 perpetuations, contributing significantly to the regional workforce with 4,387 jobs.

Investment spread throughout the region

Although the Loire-Atlantique department concentrates 51% of the projects, investments are distributed across the entire regional landscape, emphasising a commitment to balanced economic development and growth: 21% in Maine-et-Loire, 13% in Sarthe, 7% in both Vendée and Mayenne.

Germany remains the #1 investor

Like last year, Germany takes the lead in the number of projects invested in (21%), surpassing the United States (12%) and the United Kingdom (7%). Regarding  job creations, both the United States (33%) and Germany (30%) top the charts, significantly contributing to the employment surge in Atlantic France.

Focus on production and services

Investors are predominantly drawn to production activities and services for enterprises, with 47% of projects dedicated to production/realisation and 12% focused on services for businesses.

Expansion of International companies in Atlantic France

Here are a few examples of new international investors in Atlantic France and continuing success stories:

  • ComasTM (Spain): this family business has chosen Nantes as the location for its first French subsidiary. This engineering centre is designed to support its French customers in the maintenance and repair of turbomachinery. With an investment of €1.3 million, ComasTM plans to employ around ten people by the end of 2025. 
  • Farra Marine (Ireland): founded in 2021, this Irish company owns and operates a fleet of crew transfer vessels for offshore wind farms. For its first expansion abroad, Farra Marine has set up shop in the centre of Nantes. The company’s French office already employs one person and a second is currently being recruited.
  • Composite Recycling (Switzerland): this startup, which was created in 2021, has come up with an innovative process for separating glass fibre from resin in composite materials. It has developed mobile recycling units housed in containers that can be transported directly to customers. It has set up its first French subsidiary in Nantes.
  • AgileDSS (Canada): a leader in Quebec in Big Data management, Business, and Data Intelligence, the startup has chosen Nantes as its launch pad in France. The strength of the Nantes ecosystem in the digital and green energy sectors was a major factor in the choice.
  • Johnson Controls (United States): the American group has invested €6 million in its plant in Carquefou, near Nantes, where very large heat pumps are manufactured. This allowed for a 1,500 sqm extension of the plant to the highest standards, along with the installation of the latest generation of industrial equipment. It also led to the decision to recruit an additional 20 people.
  • Lhoist (Belgium): this family business, which was founded in 1889, has invested nearly €30 million in recent years in its Neau site (Mayenne). The group, one of the world leaders in lime production, is working to decarbonise its site and achieve carbon neutrality by 2050.

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