According to KPMG, the international auditing firm, the prime reason companies choose to establish a subsidiary in Northern France is the strategic location the region offers. The Lille region lies at the heart of Europe’s leading consumer catchment area. Two-thirds of the companies surveyed highlighted their aim to reach the markets of northern Europe (including France) as having driven their decision to invest in the region: an impressive 82% of companies see this locational advantage as crucial to their success in these markets.
The high quality of the local labour force also satisfies the companies: 60% were satisfied with the region’s labour force — a proportion reaching 75% of respondents in the field of trade and logistics. Undoubtedly, this is another reason businesses choose to settle in region surrounding Lille.
Regarding the quality of life, seven out of 10 business leaders say that they are satisfied with the region’s cultural dynamism and tourist potential, and close to two-thirds approve of the sports facilities available in the Lille region. The local geography and environment are also a cause for satisfaction among foreign-owned companies: 80% indicate that they are satisfied (or fairly satisfied) with the region in this respect.
Northern France is a region whose attractiveness is not always fully appreciated by outsiders: prior to their arrival, 46% of decision-makers surveyed had a good image of the region, but a third (33%) admitted to having a negative perception. Once established, however, only 1% of these decision-makers have retained this negative view, while 68% of respondents indicate that they are satisfied (or very satisfied) with the Lille region.
With hindsight, none of the companies surveyed see their location in the Lille region as a handicap. On the contrary, 60% describe the move as an asset to their businesses, especially those hailing from the Benelux countries, and 27% see the relocation as strategic in terms of the company’s development in northern Europe.
Moreover, a majority of the companies surveyed have felt genuinely welcome in northern France: close to 60% of respondents consider the welcome given to expatriates to be satisfying or very satisfying.
Despite being a border region and a hub for pan-European trade, the Lille region has a strong identity rooted in its history. Indeed, a third of respondents believe that the region stands apart from the rest of France, especially those from Germany and the Netherlands, who acknowledge a stronger cultural affinity with the region.
Lastly, the Lille region is founded upon powerful ethical values that are important to businesses. Respondents were asked what “values” they associated with the region: “work”, “fighting spirit”, “energy” and “hospitality”
About Nord France Invest
Nord France Invest is the publicly funded investment-promotion agency for Northern France (including the city of Lille and its surroundings)
Drawing on expertise across a wide range of fields, Nord France Invest and its network partners offer personalised and fully confidential services to investors, free of charge, from the initial decision through to the launch and follow-up.
In pursuing these aims, Nord France Invest draws on the skills of its own staff, combined with expert input from an extensive network of regional and international partners.
For further information, please go to: www.investinnorthernfrance.com
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Ms Katherine WOODS - Press Officer
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