Paris is Open for Business
IMAGE: Danil Roudenko
Who doesn’t love Paris? An exciting and cosmopolitan city, famous for its food, fashion and sophistication, it is renowned by visitors from all over the world. But how does Paris fare when it comes to business and the environment?
The Business Centre of Europe
Unsurprisingly, Paris is rated as being the No. 1 business centre of Europe. This is due to its unique geographical position as well as it having access to a vast employment pool within the whole of Europe which is no small feat in a market of 500 million people. To further boost its credibility, it has the highest concentration of Fortune 500 corporations in Europe, and there is a good reason for this.
Businesses benefit from fact that 100,000 researchers live in the city. They go to make up part of the 153,000 R&D jobs available, added to which the research tax credit on offer is extremely generous. Paris also has a reputation for world-class universities and business schools which have been continuously filled by extremely capable graduates and specialists. It is of little surprise that the region has seen 31 Nobel Prize winners along with the issue of 11 Fields Medals.
The city has a wide variety of diverse industry sectors, with 892,000 businesses positioning themselves in the region thanks to its highly qualified and dedicated workforce, not to mention it being an innovation hotspot. The sectors are further enhanced by the fact that Paris has the largest stock of commercial real estate in the EU consisting of 1,350 business parks, 53 million square metres of office space (16% of which has an environmental certification) and a significant amount of warehousing space (30 million square metres). All of this is extremely attractive to businesses and investors.
Another major thing in Paris’s favour is that it has incredible transport connections. Businesses in the region benefit from three international airports. These provide easy access to the rest of the world, handling a staggering 93 million passengers each year. There are also high speed train stations that provide access to other high speed links throughout Europe, such as London, Brussels, Frankfurt and Amsterdam. Paris is also home to Europe’s 2nd inland waterway platform which benefits from three ports situated along the Seine. Located within the city is the RER (high-speed Region Express Network), Paris Metro underground, sophisticated bus system and self-service electric car rental. The future looks bright with plenty of investments in the transport infrastructure earmarked going forward.
Paris thrives on its tourist industry which underpins the success of the city and its many businesses. Each year the city is visited by 47 million people including 20 million foreign visitors. In terms of hotels, the city offers some 151,000 rooms at any one time which is ideal for the 9 million visitors who attend the 395 trade shows in the city every year.
A Green City
It is vital to create a world that is sustainable, environmentally friendly and green, and on this score, Paris is committed to being at the forefront of the global movement to tackle climate change on a corporate level.
There are an increasing number of green businesses taking up residence in the city, with some 603 Small-Medium Enterprises located in the Greendustry directory. This has been aided by the cluster Advancity, Paris’s smart metropolis hub. The primary aim of Advancity is to drive innovation in sustainable industry and maintain active synergies between corporate, academic and government stakeholders in order to create business and collaboration opportunities.
In six years, Advancity has approved more than 450 projects, of which 146 were awarded with over €162 million in subsidies, representing a total investment of €460 million in research and innovation. Eco-business in the Paris Region has generated over €18.5 Billion in revenue (over half of the national figure) and created 128,000 jobs in the green sector. Paris has recognised just how big a part it can play in the fight against climate change, which is why you can find many established environmental organisations such as Veolia and Solairedirect heading up their operations there. E-mobility is also prevalent in the business landscape. Citroën, Peugeot and Renault, all with proven expertise in electric car innovation, have their headquarters based in Paris.
It is clear to see that Paris is certainly on the frontline with regard to business and the environment, acting as a magnet when it comes to attracting businesses that want to make a difference to the planet and its people. However, there is much more to this wonderful city than its business credentials; it offers a very high quality of life with something going on all of the time, driven by the innate energy of the city which never ceases. Museums, libraries, theatres, world famous restaurants and cafés are everywhere to be found in this exciting and cosmopolitan arena. Paris is a city that has much charm and for this reason it will always be one of the key destination points for many people and businesses throughout the world.
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