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France in focus: ALPC’s large renewable energy sector

Amelie Argenti - 29-janv.-2016 18:33:20

The ALPC region is an already well established and equipped area for companies in the renewable energy sector. The region has developed infrastructures and development projects in several important renewable energy sectors: -  Solar power : In Cestas, close to Bordeaux the ALPC region is host to the largest solar power complex in Europe, the size of over 300 football pitches. It contains 25 plants with a capacity of 300 megawatts. This has resulted in fast expansion of the sector and the cluster,  SYSOLIA rapidly growing and including new innovative groups and companies. -  Wind power : With over 34 wind farms and  376 megawatts produced annually, wind power is another highly developed area with lots of potential in the ALPC region. Hundreds of manufacturing, engineering, maintenance and R&D facilities have been developed in the region to meet the demand and investments pouring into the area. -  Biomass : This is a growing sector with projects using second generation biomass processes to produce energy such as ethanol. ALPC is well equipped in natural resources (wood, maize etc) and is able to accommodate numerous companies in the sector. -  Geosciences : France’s sole cluster in geosciences is located in the ALPC region.  AVENIA assembles numerous companies and large groups seeking to responsibly handle fossil fuels, storage of CO2 and industrial geothermal energy. There are numerous companies that can be highlighted for the purposes of article, three have been selected: VALOREM  was created in 1994 and quickly became a market leader in the green energy sector. With its head office in Bègles, ALCP, the group has extensive projects throughout France, and in parts of Eastern Europe, Africa and the Caribbean, offering services ranging from feasibility studies and assessments through to project development, construction and maintenance. Since its creation, VALOREM has created over 43 windfarms, installed 240 wind turbines and connected 500 megawatts. The company is continuously developing new projects and has a few underway in the nordic countries. FONROCHE ENERGIE   is a global green energy player with its headquarters in Roquefort, ALPC. The group was founded in 2008 and grew quickly to produce revenues of 200 million EUR and employ 190 people. FONROCHE offers clean energy solutions, specializing in solar (photovoltaic and solar thermal systems), biogas, geothermal and off-grid lighting systems. The group handles all levels of the project from sourcing to design, manufacturing, installation and maintenance.  FONROCHE is today present in Europe, Africa and the Caribbean.  HYD&AU is a national leader in the industrial and mobile hydraulics sector in France. The group has also expanded its services and developed numerous partnerships with operators and manufacturers of wind turbines to offer a range of services from supplying spare parts to maintenance and repair.  HYD&AU has 18 sites in Europe and in Africa. With their headquarters located in Vayres in the ALPC region, the group today employs over 300 people and has a global turnover of over 54 million EUR. For further information on the renewable energy sector in the Aquitaine Limousin Poitou Charentes region do not hesitate to contact Amelie Argenti, amelie.argenti(@)businessfrance.fr  


France in focus: The new region Aquitaine-Limousin-Poitou-Charentes

Amelie Argenti - 25-janv.-2016 13:00:41

Since the first of January 2016, the 22 regions of France have become 13. Every month we will take a closer look at the new territories and explore the vast richness and diversity that each region presents, as well as the links many of the regions have with the Nordic countries.   First up, Aquitaine-Limousin-Poitou-Charentes (ALPC): This large new region in the southwest of the country covers 84,061km2 which represents approximately 1/8 of France. The territory has several large cities including Bordeaux, Bayonne, Limoges, Poitiers, Pau and La Rochelle and totals 5,8 million inhabitants (similar to Denmark, Finland or Norway). In terms of its economy, Aquitaine-Limousin-Poitou-Charentes has a large agricultural sector, representing 9.4 billion euros in revenue. Naturally its expertise and know-how in viticulture is renowned (Bordeaux and Cognac), but the region also has numerous gastronomic delicacies and goods and boasts of the highest number of entities with labels of excellence in France (155).                                                                                       (photos courtesy of :  http://laregion-alpc.fr/  ) Of note also are the regions’ globally renowned clusters and centres of excellence within the aerospace industry (Aeroteam and Aerospace Valley), home to companies such as Airbus which we will be taking a closer look at in a later article. The aerospace sector counts 700 companies and employs 40 000 people resulting in a revenue of 4 billion euros. Tourism is another important contributor to the territory’s economy, unsurprisingly, with its beautiful ranges from the sea to the mountains, bringing 12,2 billion euros. Numerous other sectors also benefit from the know-how and production sites in the region including the pharmaceutical, marine and wood industries, green and renewable energies, ceramics, and textiles to name a few. Aquitaine-Limousin-Poitou-Charentes is also an important region for innovation and research with five universities, several Grandes Ecoles and numerous important clusters. Over the coming weeks several of the regions’ industries and specialties will be highlighted and explored. Should you want any specific information about the Aquitaine-Limousin-Poitou-Charentes region do not hesitate to contact Amelie Argenti: amelie.argenti@businessfrance.fr  


The development of Finnish company Ensto on the French market

Amelie Argenti - 22-déc.-2015 16:47:23

Short interview with Timo Luukkainen, President and CEO of Ensto: Key Figures: Founded : 1958 in Porvoo, Finland Global Presence : Offices 20 countries Number of employees : 1,600, including 300 people in France What is Ensto’s core business? Ensto is a family business whose headquarters are located in Finland. We have subsidiaries in 20 other countries and employ, 1600 people in total. Our core business is energy efficiency through three main branches: - Ensto Utility Networks , which focuses on electricity distribution and network automation solutions; - Ensto Industrial Solutions , producing riskreduction industrial components; - Ensto Building Technology , which provides energy-saving products and solutions for the construction sector. In France, we have 300 people working at three production sites. Why did you choose France? France has several valuable key strengths. First of all, it is a big market, the second largest after Nordic countries for our company. France is a very technologically developed country, with compelling tax advantages for R&D and innovation investments, which are key points for our business. Given that we work a lot with Northern African countries, France’s location and the French language are also significant advantages. How has the IFA* helped you to expand in France? The IFA* has been very helpful to us as a partner and has always been there for us whenever we had questions about our development in France. We acquired two companies in 2010, and it has been a great success. Thanks to its thorough knowledge of the French business environment, the IFA assisted us during the entire process, which was much appreciated. What advice would you give to a company interested in investing in France? Don’t be afraid of France! French people are determined and reliable workers. France is a big market, is very developed technologically, and has compelling innovation and R&D promotion policies. It is also a gateway to other promising markets. * The Invest in France Agency and UBIFRANCE merged on the 1st January 2015 to form Business France For more information on French market


France in focus: Nordic companies in the ALPC region

Amelie Argenti - 29-janv.-2016 18:32:54

The Aquitaine Limousin Poitou-Charentes region is vast and rich in resources and solutions not only for local French companies, but also for the numerous international groups and organizations that set up in the area.  The region boasts of sub-surface resources from groundwater, limestone, oil & gas, to thermal springs, but also industrial complexes, clusters & centres of excellence, and high-tech facilities able to accommodate a range of organisations. Of note also is that ALPC has devoted an important part of their budget to innovation and R&D projects in the region. Over the years an increasing number of companies from the Nordic countries have bought, invested in or otherwise established themselves in the ALPC region. The sectors covered range from construction to pharmaceutical development, paper production and retail to name a few.        A selection of the Nordic companies and their activities in the ALPC region are included below: Yara International ASA , originally Hydro Norsk, was created in 1905 in Norway. The group specializes in agricultural products and environmental protection agents and is the leading provider of sustainable crop nutrition solutions. Yara has an annual turnover of around 15 billion USD and over 12 000 employees globally. The group has several facilities in France including the site in Pardies in the ALPC region, created in 1986 with the acquisition of AZOLACQ. The totally integrated plant is part of a large industrial complex and as Yara themselves illustrate the location is near the Spanish border and well served by daily flights, a speedways network, and connected to the national railway grid.   The Danish company Ambu is specialized in diagnostic and life-supporting procedures ranging from anesthesia to patient monitoring and emergency care devices. The company was created in 1937 and is today fully operational on a global scale, with exports accounting for over 98% of their sales. Ambu has an annual turnover of around 300 million USD and over 2200 employees globally, of which 29 are based in France. As part of the group’s strategy, activities on several markets were concentrated on one sole location per country. The French subsidiary Ambu SARL has been based in beautiful Bordeaux since 1988.     Stora Enso is a Finnish company with expertise in the biomaterials, paper, packaging industry, and wood products sectors. The group has a massive production capacity with 7,1 million tonnes of paper, million tonnes of board, 1.3 billion square metres of corrugated packaging and 5.6 million cubic metres of sawn wood . Stora Enso has over 26 000 employees in more than 35 countries and presented a result in 2014 of 11.4 billion USD in revenue. Stora Enso Bois in France has set up in two distribution centres, one of which is Rochefort in ALPC. Emphasis has been placed on product development, IT- and e-business development. Capio Group is a Swedish healthcare provider founded in 1994 operating in Sweden, Norway, Germany and France. The group offers a range of healthcare solutions through its hospitals, primary care facilities and specialist clinics. In 2014 Capio’s more than 12 000 employees treated 4, 6 million patients across the four countries. The French branch of the group represented the second-largest segment by net sales and number of patients visits in 2014 and employs over 5000 people in the country. Capio France was created in 2002 and has since established eight emergency hospitals, twelve local hospitals and three specialist clinics primarily for rehabilitation and psychiatry. The most recent opening in 2015 of the Belharra clinic in Bayonne will be able to accommodate around 50 000 patients a year and represents an investment of 80 million EUR by Capio in the region. For further information on the Aquitaine Limousin Poitou-Charentes region or Nordic companies and investments there, please contact Amelie Argenti, Amelie.argenti(@)businessfrance.fr


France in focus: ALPC textile design

Amelie Argenti - 27-janv.-2016 19:47:07

With the flurry of decoration, lifestyle and design fairs currently being held, Formex, and on the horizon, Formland & Oslo Design Fair, in the Nordic countries, and in conjunction with Maison & Objet in Paris, we will take a closer look at some of the decoration and design companies form the Aquitaine-Limousin-Poitou-Charentes (ALPC) region. There are of course numerous businesses in the region with wonderful products and a claim in the sector, but we will take a closer look at three companies located in the Basque country and specialized in textiles. The Basque country has a long history of weaving and textile production – historically it was an agricultural practice: in order protect the cattle from the sun during plowing and harvest seasons, a woven cover, called Saïal, was placed on the animals. Each Saïal had seven stripes woven into them representing the seven Basque Provinces. The practice evolved and the region now has a rich history in the production of linens ranging from table cloth to tea towels and numerous textiles in between.                                                                                             Images courtesy of Tissage Moutet The family business, Tissage Moutet , has been using tradition Basque weaving techniques since 1919. The company, located in Orthez, is a certified “Living Heritage Company” and has maintained traditional practices while modernizing their design and production, and prides itself on its innovation through style approach in the creation of their linen. With collections ranging from table and kitchen linens, homeware & decoration, and hospitality & restauration the group has a wide range of products to satisfy their growing national and international clients. Moutet exports to several countries around the world including Denmark and Finland!                                                                                Images courtesy of Creations Jean Vier Another Basque company in the textiles sector is Creations Jean Vier , a company with a 30 year history in the industry. The company produces a wide variety of table linen, bathroom linen and home furnishings, naming all their collections after Basque villages and towns (St Jean de Luz, Espelette, Biarritz, Sara, Arnaga, Abadia, Bilbao, etc.) or traditional Basque pastimes and traditions, Txilin Txalan (a children’s game), Aria le fil or Saïal.                                                                                                   Images courtesy of ARTIGA The last company we will look at in this article is ARTIGA ,  located in the town of Magescq. This company was created in 1999 and has since then gone from strength to strength, from opening their first store in 2001 to delivering an order of 5500 “sailor bags” for the G20 summit in 2011. Today, ARTIGA has 8 stores in France and is expanding internationally. With collections of bath towels, table linens, pillows and accessories, this company has no shortage of bright colourful Basque inspired products.  For more information on any of the companies featured, do not hesitate to contact Amelie Argenti, amelie.argenti(@)businessfrance.fr  


Interview: Swedish company Doro’s activities in France

Amelie Argenti - 21-déc.-2015 16:39:34

Doro is a Swedish company focusing on telecommunications solutions for seniors. The company was founded in 1974 in Lund and has enjoyed strong growth allowing the group to pursue international expansion. Today Doro is present in Norway, Hong Kong, the US, and France and has an annual turnover of SEK 838 million. In an interview CEO Jérôme Arnaud tells us why Doro chose to invest in France. What is Doro’s main business? Doro is a Swedish company focusing on telecommunications solutions for seniors. The company initially made landline telephones. Since I arrived to lead Doro in 2007 we changed strategy and abandoned this declining market to focus on a forward-looking sector: the seniors market. We produce a wide range of telephones developed for elderly people but also telecare and fall-detection systems, for example. Thanks to this new positioning, Doro is enjoying strong growth as it pursues international expansion centered around France. Why did you choose France? We chose to locate our software development center in France because we were looking for certain skills and highly trained personnel. It is not easy to find seasoned workers in seniors-focused software development, because this sector is relatively new. Moreover, France is a very large, interesting market, and its strategic location enables us to centralize all our European operations here (Italy, Greece, Benelux, etc.). Our development center employs around ten people. Since Doro is enjoying very strong growth, this center is due to expand and we intend to create new jobs in France. How did the Invest in France Agency* help you? Swedes are not always comfortable with French people from a cultural point of view. Their working methods as well as their ways of thinking are totally different. Fortunately, the Invest in France Agency* offers a reassuring framework so that investors can better understand the French market and how to undertake their investments in the best possible conditions. We very much appreciated the advice we were given that enabled us to better manage our French investments. What advice would you give to a company interested in investing in France? Swedish companies setting up business in France can tend to isolate themselves behind clichés about France that circulate in Sweden. However, these clichés are just not true. For instance, that ‘French people work less than Swedish people’: it is quite the opposite! If they want to have a better return on investment, Swedish firms should not go it alone, with their own Swedish consultants and employees, but rather learn how to exploit the key strengths and knowledge of the French workforce. * The Invest in France Agency and UBIFRANCE merged on the 1st January 2015 to form Business France For more information on French market opportunities contact Gilles Debuire, Deputy Regional Director of Business France Nordics: gilles.debuire(@)businessfrance.fr


Seminaari Ranskaan investoimisesta

Nadine Fraysse-Eckstein - 08-nov.-2015 15:11:31

Ranskaan investoimiselle omistetun kuukauden yhteydessä Ranskan suurlähetystö järjesti yhdessä Suomen yrittäjien kanssa seminaarin Ranskan houkuttelevuudesta. Seminaari pidettiin Ranskan suurlähetystössä Helsingissä 29. syyskuuta.   Tilaisuudessa oli mukana kolmisenkymmentä Suomen yrittäjien jäsentä, joilla oli tilaisuus kuulla Ranskasta sijoituskohteena, Ranskassa toimivien suomalaisyrittäjien kokemuksia ja keskustella muiden osallistujien kanssa.   Ohjelma   Johdanto Serge Mostura, Ranskan suurlähettiläs   Yritysjohtajien kokemuksia Ranskassa Timo Luukkainen, ENSTO Mika Halttunen, OY Halton Group   Ranskan valtteja sijoituskohteena: Ranskan markkinat, lainsäädäntö, liiketoimintaympäristö, mahdollisuudet cleantechin alalla sekä energiatehokkuudessa. Nadine Mouy, Kaupallisen osaston johtaja  


Meistä
Ranskan vienninedistämiskeskuksen Business Francen tehtävänä on auttaa ranskalaisia yrityksiä löytämään yhteistyökumppaneita Suomessa. Avustamme yrityksiä kehittämään liiketoimintaansa Suomessa järjestämällä B to B – tapaamisia ja erilaisia tapahtumia, sekä osallistumalla eri alojen messuille. BUSINESS FRANCEN kautta ranskalaiset yritykset saavat myös kattavaa tietoa Suomen markkinoista. Business France Helsingin palvelut kattavat myös Viron markkinat. BUSINESS FRANCE – ”French Agency for International Development” - on Ranskan valtion vienninedistämiskeskus joka toimii lähes 50 maassa. BUSINESS FRANCE tarjoaa ranskalaisille yrityksille laajan valikoiman palveluja ja auttaa yrityksiä kansainvälistymisen eri vaiheissa. Konsultointi BUSINESS FRANCE auttaa yrityksiä kansainvälistymisstrategian laatimisessa tarjoamalla ammattitait

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