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Hauts-de-France attracts industrial projects

04 Feb 2020 | Front page, Investment, A region on the move

Like the country itself, the Hauts-de-France region is once again at the top of its game and is ranked number one for industrial investment nationally in the EY 2020 survey of how attractive France is to industry.

Hauts-de-France, number one region for industrial projects in France

The Hauts-de-France region, ranked third for FDI across all sectors, is in first place for industrial-type projects.The region attracted 17% of France's 339 industrial investment projects, putting it ahead of the Grand Est and Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes regions.

How the assessment is made:
The survey of 210 executives involved in international investment decisions was conducted in 2019. It is supplemented by analysis of industrial sites either established or expanded by foreign investors between 2009 and 2018.

Hauts-de-France has a proven ability to attract investment

In 2019 Hauts-de-France was ranked:


  • Number two region in terms of FDI job creation in France, according to the IBM and Business France rankings
  • Number one French region for industrial development, according to EY and Business France
  • Number three French region for FDI projects, according to the EY and Business France rankings.


Its high level of attractiveness was recognised at the Choose France Awards in November 2019.

Why do investors choose Hauts-de-France?

According to the EY study, two main factors explain France’s attractiveness:


  • The presence of leading French companies in the key sectors of aeronautics, shipbuilding and food
  • Areas of employment with a skilled workforce.


The key strengths that give Hauts-de-France the edge:


  • France’s leading agri-food hub - the region is host to internationally renowned companies such as McCain, Bonduelle and Lesaffre
  • The head offices of many large companies such as Auchan, Roquette and Tereos are based in Hauts-de-France
  • Finally, the region boasts a large employment pool and a skilled workforce used to working for companies with an international dimension (one in ten employees works for a foreign-owned company)


Once companies have set up there, they continue to feel the benefits. In fact, 85% of foreign companies already based in the region recommend it (Source: KPMG study 2017). This satisfaction is reflected in the large number of expansions and reinvestment projects on sites in the region (approximately one investment project in two).

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