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The April 8, 2009
Paris Region was continuing to attract many international investors despite the widespread disquiet caused by the economic crisis.
Thanks to its diversified economy, so far Paris Region has held up better than many highly specialised - and therefore very exposed - metropolitan regions worldwide. Nonetheless it too has been impacted by the significant deterioration in the national and international economy. At this point the ability to attract new investment projects is a key factor in responding to the crisis. New foreign direct investment (FDI) creates jobs. In addition it often makes a major contribution to reinventing our metropolitan growth model by contributing to the conversion to an eco-economy (clean technologies sector), by enhancing Paris Region's research and innovation capability or by offering new services. This investment lays the foundation for our exit from the crisis, states Denis Tersen, Chief Executive Officer of the Paris Region Economic Development Agency.
The Paris Region Economic Development Agency, which works primarily on mobile investments of foreign origin, is delighted these very positive results for 2008 - achieved in the context of a national and global downturn on the investment front. Strong metropolitan regions like Paris Region and Greater London will have to re-think their business services offering and their attractiveness. As well as welcoming new projects, this attractiveness will also be measured by their capacity to retain within their territory investments made at an earlier date and to support the ongoing process of change and adaptation in the region's economic fabric.
Increase in international company start-ups
Paris Region confirmed its attractiveness to international businesses in 2008, recording 208 new investment projects for company start-ups, expansions or the acquisition of business premises during the year - an increase of 14% compared with 2007.
In terms of job creation the current crisis is encouraging a prudent approach from investors with the result that foreign investment projects in Paris Region were smaller on average compared with 2007, generating lower levels of recruitment (an average of 40 jobs per project in 2008 compared with 57 in 2007). In consequence the number of jobs created or maintained in 2008 decreased by 20% from nearly 10,400 in 2007 to 8,300 jobs created or maintained in 2008 (representing 26% of the national total). This decrease in Paris Region reflects the sharp fall in business acquisitions by foreign companies (see graph below).
It is important to emphasise that of the 208 investment projects recorded in Paris Region, 154 are international company start-ups (the remainder being expansions or takeovers) - an excellent result which shows that the region still remains a highly attractive location for international companies. Above all, the number of jobs created by international company start-ups has been increasing steadily for the last 6 years:
Similarly, the number of jobs created by international company expansions grew by 12.5% between 2007 and 2008.
Paris Region clearly remains a prime destination for locating and growing international investment projects: in 2008, 98% of jobs created by FDI were generated by international company start-ups or expansions (compared to the average of 67% for France as a whole).
Geographic origin of investments: Paris Region a prime host region for companies from distant locations and for emerging markets.
The ranking of countries investing in business in Paris Region is headed by the same trio as in the previous year: the USA, the UK and Germany. Together these three countries account for more than 50% of all investment projects hosted by Paris Region (108) while the USA alone accounts for one third of all jobs created or maintained in the region.
Although the European continent remains the largest single source of company locations, Asia continues to make headway, accounting for 18% of all projects and 16% of jobs created, with three Asian countries (Japan, India and China) among the top ten countries investing in Paris Region. India appears among the top ten source countries for investments for the first time this year. Paris Region hosts a relatively larger proportion of businesses from emerging economies than the rest of France - a reason for optimism for the future, as these countries will increasingly be establishing themselves as major economic players on the global scene. In general terms, the more distant the investors' location of origin the more likely they are to locate to Paris Region, which competes directly with the other major European metropolitan regions in this respect, and with London in particular.
Activity sectors and company types: typical of a global metropolis
In general terms the new projects starting up in Paris Region belong mainly to the services - especially financial services - consultancy, and IT services sectors. Together these three sectors accounted for 105 projects in 2008 and for more than 65% of jobs created and maintained in Paris Region.
update April 19, 2012