5 advantages of the Hauts-de-France region

14 Jun 2021
Estimated reading time : 5 minutes
5 advantages of the Hauts-de-France region
14 Jun 2021
Estimated reading time : 5 minutes

You have decided to set up your business in France. You’re attracted to France thanks to its dynamic economy, the quality of its training, its taxation initiatives… or for business sector reasons.

You now need to fine-tune your site research and choose your host region. Which territory will be the right one to set up your company and address your challenges and needs?

At the heart of the European market, the Hauts-de-France region has many advantages to attract investors.

This article presents 5 good reasons to choose Hauts-de-France to set up your business.


Download the guide 5 reasons to invest in Hauts-de-France

Well situated geographically

“As a plant manager in the Hauts-de-France region, you quickly realize that the location is very export-friendly. We sit at the crossroads of Europe, with England, Germany and the Benelux countries as neighbors. Multi-modality is also a regional strong point in terms of waterway, road and rail cargo.“
Olivier Silva – Plant Manager – Renault

The Hauts-de-France region enjoys a prime geographical position in Europe. At the crossroads between France, Benelux and England, the region offers direct access to 5 European capitals: Paris, Brussels, Luxembourg, London and Amsterdam.

You can reach a huge market in just 3 hours from Hauts-de-France. Within a 300 km radius, you can reach 78 million consumers, i.e. a quarter of the European population. This market covers 6 countries (France, Belgium, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, England and Germany) and represents a purchasing power of 1,500 billion euros.

Logistically, the geographical location of Hauts-de-France simplifies the shipment of goods to your consumer catchment areas.

And another advantage of the Hauts-de-France region is its coastline. Dunkirk and Calais both rank in the top 5 French cargo ports. The region is also very close to other major European ports such as Dover or Rotterdam.

Attractively priced sites

Among the criteria for choosing a site, investors look at operating costs. Before taking the plunge, you no doubt plan to compare the real estate and land costs of the various cities/regions on your shortlist.

The conclusions of a study by EY and Nord France Invest show that the Hauts-de-France has very competitive costs compared to its rivals.

On average, the region is:

  • 24% less expensive for operating costs than the average of its European competitors
  • in the top 3 for real estate costs, all activities combined, compared to its European rivals.
  • up to 50% lower office costs than the average of its French and European competitors

Would you like to compare several large European cities by yourself?


Ready and able workforce

Financial criteria alone cannot guarantee the efficiency and longevity of a site. Admittedly, real estate and salary costs are a factor in the decision. But your location study should not be based solely on a cost analysis.

To get the full picture and make an informed choice, you should also consider qualitative criteria. The presence and availability of a qualified workforce is obviously one of the key success factors when choosing a location.

From this point of view, the Hauts-de-France region is a significant employment area for:

  • 50,000 people in industry
  • 70,000 people in logistics
  • 57,000 people in services

The regional labor force is also among the most productive in Europe with an average GDP of €55.15 per hour worked.


On site, you will need to recruit qualified staff. The quality of the training in the region is therefore an important criterion for you.

Since 2018, the Hauts-de-France region has been running the “Training in Higher Education” scheme (in french), an ambitious continuing education scheme in partnership with 11 local institutions.

Hauts-de-France is the second region in France for education with 230,000 students, 9 universities and over 40 specialized higher education institutions.

Operational start-up in record time

“There is a negative view of how cumbersome the procedures are. Yet government departments, local authorities and development agencies are rolling up their sleeves so that investors can set up shop and operate with as few constraints as possible.“
Luciano Biondo – Chairman, Toyota Motor Manufacturing France

Once you have made your decision, you want to get the site running as soon as possible.

At the national level, France has made great strides in recent years to reduce the administrative formalities involved in starting a business. Our country is now European leader in this respect.

In the regions, the support of local partners helps to further reduce these delays. Thanks to the support of Nord France Invest, several projects to set up a business in the Hauts-de-France region were launched in record time:

  • Booking.com opened a call center with 250 employees in just 7 months from decision to operational start-up. Nord France Invest assisted them in the search for a site, recruitment, financial engineering and interaction with government departments.
  • Kubota created a tractor assembly site in 12 months. Our support focused on expediting administrative authorizations and obtaining visas for expatriates.

Do you want to know how Nord France Invest’s support acts as a project catalyst?  Discover in our comprehensive document, how BYD, the leading Chinese bus manufacturer, managed to launch its production site in Beauvais in record time.

download the guide 5 reasons to invest in Hauts-de-France

Customized free support

Nord France Invest, the economic development agency for the Hauts-de-France region, assists companies aiming to set up a business in the region.

We provide support in 4 main stages throughout your project:

  • During your business location research, we help you to get centralized answers to all your questions. Our knowledge of the region, its specific features and its stakeholders allows you to collect accurate and up-to-date information to inform your analysis and draw up your location specification.
  • If you decide to invest in Hauts-de-France, our team will help you find the right solutions for your project. In particular, we can assist you in choosing a location, based on your specifications.
  • Once you have decided on your location, we optimize the financial engineering to get your project up and running quickly.
  • We help you integrate into the regional ecosystem to unlock synergies and to boost your growth.

Our services are free and personalized. We also guarantee the confidentiality of your project.


The Hauts-de-France region has many advantages to attract investors. Its location in the heart of Europe, competitive property costs and the quality of its workforce make it a choice destination. 

Nord France Invest wants to see you succeed and plays a facilitating role at every stage of your project.

Do you have plans to start a business in Europe, in France? Would you like to set up a business in Hauts-de-France?