Business France unveils its 2020 assessment of foreign direct investments (FDI) in France. Nord France Invest, its regional partner for Hauts-de-France, provided all investment decisions made in 2020: 126 projects creating or retaining 4,700 jobs.
Investment projects stable in spite of the pandemic
While the number of projects nationally has decreased by 17% compared to 2019, the Hauts-de-France Region stands out for its stability.
Regardless of the challenging health and economic environment, the region had 126 investment projects compared to 131 in 2019 which was a record year.
This is the region’s 2nd best performance ever recorded in terms of the number of projects.
The decrease in jobs created or maintained compared to 2019 is more marked (-17%) but reflects the national trend (-13%).
With 4,700 jobs in 2020, the balance sheet remains higher than 2016 (4,579 jobs).
Logistics and services leading the way
Among the many sectors represented in the Hauts-de-France 2020 investments, two stand out: logistics and services.
However, industry remains the leading sector for investment in the region even though it experienced a drop in projects and job numbers compared to previous years.
The region’s logistics sector has experienced strong growth in 2020:
- 25% increase in jobs: 611 compared to 489 in 2019
- 60% increase in number of projects: 16 compared to 10 the previous year
This increased momentum is equally reflected in the transport and storage sectors:
- 604 jobs created or retained in 2020 compared to 379 the previous year
- 7 projects compared to 2 in 2019
Amazon France Logistics’ extension in Boves played no small part, accounting for 271 jobs alone.
As France’s #1 region for outsourced customer service centres, Hauts-de-France continues to attract investment.
Consulting, engineering and operational business services have seen a sharp increase in jobs in 2020 with 769 jobs created or retained (compared to 299 in 2019).
Three extension projects confirm the region’s strengths and weigh heavily in the balance:
- Intracall Center, Amiens (320 jobs created),
- CRM 59, Valenciennes (200 jobs created)
- Experis France, Villeneuve-d’Ascq (100 jobs created).
Historically the leading sector for foreign investment in Hauts-de-France, industry has experienced an 18% decline in projects and a 24% drop in employment.
However, it remains the best represented sector in 2020 with nearly 50% of the total number of jobs created or retained.
Several projects were postponed due to lack of visibility or travel restrictions and should come to fruition in 2021.
The United States: still the most loyal investor country in Hauts-de-France
With 1,528 jobs across 24 projects, the USA remains the region’s #1 investor country.
It accounts for 32% of total jobs generated by FDI in 2020.
Just behind, as it was in both 2017 and 2019, comes the United Kingdom, which provides 957 jobs (20% of the total) and 17 projects.
Next is Switzerland, which jumps from 5th to 3rd place, having created 474 jobs.
Finally are Canada, Germany and Belgium.