Meet our international business community

The large number of foreign businesses in Hauts-de-France makes us a genuinely international region. Learn more about the companies that have chosen our region as the springboard to growth in France and other European countries.

Meet our international business community

The large number of foreign businesses in Hauts-de-France makes us a genuinely international region. Learn more about the companies that have chosen our region as the springboard to growth in France and other European countries.

Strong international presence

Many foreign-owned companies have set up a French subsidiary here to meet their goals for international growth. Our region has everything they need to pursue their international trade strategies.

Today foreign-owned companies have some 164,000 employees in our region. They’re well represented in industry, and an overwhelming majority recommend locating in Hauts-de-France to grow your business on French and European markets.

Fast facts:

  • Over 2,000 foreign-owned companies are present in Hauts-de-France
  • 1 in 10 employees in the region works for an international company
  • 27% of industrial-sector employees work for an international company
  • 85% of foreign businesses recommend locating in Hauts-de-France

(Source: KPMG, 2017)

Choose a region with benefits for your international business

For several years we’ve ranked among France’s most attractive regions for foreign direct investment (FDI).

No. 2 French region for foreign direct investment

In 2019, Business France and IBM Global Business Services ranked Hauts-de-France as the No. 2 French region for foreign direct investment by number of jobs.

Trends in foreign investments and job creation in Hauts-de-France, 2017-2019

97 projects
5,036 jobs created or preserved

115 projects
5,266 jobs created or preserved

130 projects
5,784 jobs created or preserved

No. 1 French region for foreign investment in industry

Our industrial sector is a particularly favorable ecosystem for foreign-owned companies that want to grow their business on international markets­—so it’s no surprise that Hauts-de-France is the No. 1 French region for foreign industrial investment. (Source: EY Attractiveness Survey on France, 2019)

Learn more about the international companies in Hauts-de-France

Top 5 investor countries in Hauts-de-France:

#1

Belgium

#2

Germany

#3

United States

#4

United Kingdom

#5

the Netherlands (by number of companies) and Japan (by number of jobs)

Belgium—the top investor country in Hauts-de-France

Companies from Belgium, Germany and other European nations are the leading investors in Hauts-de-France—but they don’t have a monopoly. We attract companies from around the world, including the US, our third-ranked investor country.

Nationality of foreign investments (by number of sites)

The US—the top foreign employer in Hauts-de-France

American companies generate the most jobs in the region, followed by Germany and Belgium, which account for the highest number of companies. 

Nationality of foreign investments (by number of employees)

Brexit and UK investment in Hauts-de-France

Our region offers the closest possible location for British business leaders affected by Brexit and issues with national borders. Having a presence in continental Europe, just across the Channel from the UK, gives British companies more security and plenty of flexibility.

Want to know more about the foreign companies here in Hauts-de-France?

ORECE (Observatoire Régional des Entreprises à Capitaux Etrangers), tracks foreign-owned companies in the region, offering a wealth of information on:

  • the international companies here in Haut-de-France
  • the industries with the largest presence in the region
  • the locations foreign companies choose to win new French and foreign markets

Nord France Invest founded and manages ORECE to improve the support we offer you. Every three years, we publish a study with a detailed breakdown of the foreign companies present in Hauts-de-France.