Foreign investment: Brest gets a piece of the pie

6.7 billion euros investment

France prides itself on being the most attractive country in Europe for foreign investors in terms of the number of projects. The “Choose France” summit, held on Monday in Versailles, served as a platform to announce 14 major investments, with a total value of 6.7 billion euros and the creation of more than 4,000 jobs. The main announcement concerns an investment of 5.7 billion euros in a new semiconductor plant, near Grenoble, with 1,000 jobs at stake.

The future semiconductor plant, whose first production will be launched from the end of 2023, will benefit from “significant financial support from the French state”, the Franco-Italian group STMicroelectronics and American GlobalFoundries have identified. It is part of the “Chip Law”, the European Union’s program to regain a place alongside Asia and America in global semiconductor production. Due to the shortage of these precious ingredients, in the wake of the coronavirus crisis, Europe wants to increase its share to 20% of global production, compared to less than 10% today.

Innovation Center in Brest

Brest gets a piece of the cake. Accenture, an American business consultancy, now headquartered in Dublin, has chosen the Brittany tip for the upcoming opening of a new Technology Development and Innovation Center site, with 500 jobs created within three years in the region. The center will enable companies in Brittany and elsewhere to innovate and enrich their activities using the latest technologies (artificial intelligence, cloud, “machine learning”, metaverse, etc.), from designing solutions to deploying them at scale, marking the Elysee.

“The announcement of the selection of Brest (…) is good news, rejoiced François Coelander, Mayor of Brest and President of Brest Metropole. Job opportunities are very important, and the selection of Brest underlines the attractiveness of the capital and Brittany, and amplifies the dynamism that is already operating in the region in the digital sphere.” At the moment, no details of the location of this center have been given.

Projects all over France

Among other projects announced as part of “Choose France”, express parcel specialist FedEx will create 1,000 permanent jobs in Roissy (Val d’Oise); Spanish Amadeus (Tourist Reservations Department), 800 jobs, mainly in Sophia Antipolis (Alpes Maritimes); and Vietnamese Vinfast (cars), 350 to 400 in showrooms and workshops, according to the Elysee.

British pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) will invest in clinical trials, American Collins Aerospace (avionics and information systems – Raytheon Group) will invest in research and development and Germany’s Vorwerk will acquire a second Thermomix plant in Eure-et-Loir. The Dutch temporary working group Randstad will also hire 7,000 employees on temporary permanent contracts by the end of 2022.

Nearly 80 investment projects, representing 12 billion euros and 21,000 jobs, have been announced as part of the “Choose France” summits since 2018: 25 have been completed, 50 are under way, and five have been abandoned or postponed.

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