La Défense
6 July 2016

20 facts and figures that show just how much the Île de France region has to offer

As Europe’s second most attractive metropolis after London for foreign investors, Paris-Île-de-France has all the advantages required to take over its economic leadership.
 

Paris region attractiveness1. Europe’s leading economic area

With 12 million inhabitants, 944,000 businesses and 646,000 students, Ile de France accounts for 4.6% of EU GDP, making it Europe’s leading economic area. The €640 billion of GDP it generates is as much as the Netherlands, and more than Switzerland (Paris Region Key Figures).

Paris region - Europe’s largest urban area2. Europe’s largest urban area

With nearly 12 million inhabitants, including two million in Paris, Ile de France (Paris region) is the most populated urban area in Europe, ahead of London (8.5 million).

Paris region - An international business center3. An international business center

The Paris region accounted for 18% of French exports and 27% of French imports in 2015. More than 11,200 foreign companies operate in the region, where they employ nearly one million people. Located five miles from Paris and 12 miles from La Défense, Paris Le Bourget Airport, with its exclusive focus on general aviation, is Europe’s leading business aviation airport.

4. A globally connected city

Paris is connected to the world by 225 daily direct flights to destinations outside Europe, 700 daily flights to European cities, as well as high-speed trains to London, Brussels, Amsterdam, Munich and Frankfurt. In all, more than 500 million consumers can be reached in less than two hours by plane.

5. Leading financial marketplace in the euro zone…

With over 800,000 direct jobs and 400,000 indirect jobs, France’s financial industry plays a central role in the French economy. Finance accounts for over 4% of French GDP, and is the third largest sector by employment in Ile de France (Paris region). Four French banks feature in Europe’s top 10, including two of the top three: BNP Paribas (2nd) and Crédit Agricole (3rd). Euronext is the leading stock exchange in the euro zone, accounting for 40% of the euro zone’s market capitalization. As the European leader in equities and corporate bonds, the Paris financial marketplace is also up to speed with new ways of financing SMEs, including private equity and crowdfunding. In 2015, Paris outpaced all other European cities for raising seed capital. With 320 listed tech SMEs and mid-size companies, and a combined market capitalization of €41 billion, Euronext is the leading technology stock exchange in continental Europe.

6. …and Europe’s second home to foreign finance

Centered on long-term and sustainable finance, the Paris financial marketplace attracts plenty of foreign investors. More than 500 international businesses, banks, insurers and financial firms operate in the French capital, where they employ nearly 126,000 people. In all, €90 billion are currently invested by foreign investors in French financial assets. Moreover, with more than ¥13 billion raised on Euronext Paris since 2012, Paris has become a hub for the internationalization of the Yuan.

7. Financing the sustainable economy

For a number of years, the Paris financial marketplace has built its reputation as the market leader in green bonds. France is the world’s top issuer of green bonds, having sold US$11 billion worth in 2015. (Climate Bonds Initiative).

8. Europe’s largest commercial real estate portfolio

The Paris region has Europe’s largest commercial real estate portfolio (nearly 53 million sq. m.), while La Défense, boasting 3 million sq. m. of office space, 3,600 businesses and 180,000 employees, is Europe’s top business district.

9. Paris, more affordable than London or Berlin

Paris came seventh in a recent European ranking of business costs, ahead of Berlin (8th), Frankfurt (9th) and London (10th), according to comparative cost analysis in over 100 cities by KPMG. Moreover, market rents for office space are 2.4 times higher in the center of London than in the center of Paris.

10. Home to major French and global headquarters

Twenty-nine of the world’s 500 largest companies listed in the Fortune Global 500 have their headquarters in the Paris region, ranking it third in the world, after Beijing and Tokyo, and number one in Europe

11. World’s largest incubator

The Paris region has set itself apart with its zest for enterprise. It is home to a total of nearly 100 business incubators, including Le Cargo, Europe’s largest. Meanwhile, the forthcoming 30,000 sq. m. Halle Freyssinet, due to accommodate up to 1,000 startups, will open its doors in January 2017, making it the largest incubator in the world.

12. Second leading destination for foreign investors

According to the 2016 Global Cities Investment Monitor, the Paris region is Europe’s second most attractive city region to foreign investors after London, and is ranked as one of the world’s top locations for strategic business activities, such as international research centres and headquarters. In 2015, six new foreign investment decisions were made every week in the region (Business France figures).

13. Paris region: Europe’s leading R&D cluster

With more than 155,000 researchers and research personnel, Ile de France (Paris region) has more people working in R&D than any other region in Europe. It also leads the way in Europe for R&D spending (€18.7 billion in 2013), ahead of Stuttgart (Eurostat).

14. nine innovation clusters

The Paris region is home to nine innovation clusters, including four world-class clusters: Advancity Paris-Région (sustainable city and transport), ASTech Paris-Région (aerospace), Cap Digital Paris-Région (multimedia,digital), Finance Innovation (finance), Medicen Paris-Région (biomedical, health), Mov’eo (automotive),Systematic Paris-Région (ICT), Cosmetic Valley and Elastopôle (polymers). The urban planning of the Grand Paris project seeks to consolidate major clusters: starting in 2023, the new line 18 will create a direct connection from Paris Orly airport to the Paris-Saclay technology and science cluster, as well as to the new Paris-Saclay University.

15. Innovation-inspired events

In May 2016, Paris played host for the first time to Innorobo, Europe’s leading international robotic event, bringing together professionals from the robotic industry as well as research labs, startups and backers of innovative projects. In September, the Paris Drone Festival will be held on the Champs-Elysées.

16. One in five students from overseas

Paris was ranked the world’s best city for international students in 2016 (QS Best Student Cities). 67,000 foreign students study at universities in the Paris region.

17. World-renowned institutions

With 21 top-ranked business schools, France has more higher education institutions than any other country among the 80 in the Financial Times Masters in Management standings. Three schools in the Paris region feature in the top 10: HEC Paris (2nd place), Essec Business School (3rd) and ESCP Europe (7th). Eleven Fields Medal prize winners graduated from an institution in the region.

18. French Tech Ticket: Paris welcomes talent

In early 2016, 50 foreign entrepreneurs were granted a “Paris French Tech Ticket” and joined incubators in the Paris region. Next time around, a further 200 French Tech Tickets will be awarded. The Paris metropolitan area is home to 12,000 startups, including 4,000 within Paris itself, more than in London or Berlin. France’s capital is striving to increase the attractiveness of its ecosystem to foreign startups, with a target of ensuring that 30% of startups in Parisian incubators hail from outside France by 2020.

19. Grand Paris Express: Additional 125 miles of network

Grand Paris Express is an ambitious program to develop the Paris region’s transport network and upgrade existing lines. The project involves an additional 125 miles of automated metro lines and 57 new stations. Four new metro lines will be created. Paris Charles de Gaulle, Europe’s second-busiest airport after London Heathrow for freight and passenger transport, and Paris Le Bourget, Europe’s leading business aviation airport (ACI, 2014), will be connected by the new line 17. Paris Orly airport will be connected to Versailles by the new line 18 and to the center of Paris through an extension to line 14, placing it only 22 minutes away from the Gare de Lyon train station. The Grand Paris project also plans to build 70,000 new homes every year. These buildings will respect sustainable city guidelines.

20. Paris: a smart connected city

The smart city initiative combines technological solutions and open-source methods from an innovative ecosystem with input from Parisians to address major urban challenges for their benefit. The competitiveness and attractiveness to business of major international cities depends in no small part on the quality of their digital infrastructure. Paris City Council has outlined its firm digital commitment in its Digital City 2015-2020 Master Plan.

Source: Business France