The 2013/04/12 at 08:35
Amongst the outstanding assets of Languedoc-Roussillon, one of the most prominent is its geographical position at the heart of southern Europe, making it a genuine springboard to all Mediterranean markets. This openness provides access to some 260 million consumers. The Languedoc-Roussillon region boasts France’s strongest national demographic growth. “It has almost 95,000 students, with strong future potential for business creation. In addition, almost 170 foreign companies have chosen to set up and develop in our region,” points out Agnès Tixier, Executive Director of Invest Sud de France. Tourism is naturally a strong driver of growth, thanks to the region’s 300 days of sun per year.
To better promote the assets of the Languedoc-Roussillon region, Invest Sud de France, the Agence Régionale de Développement Economique (Regional Agency for Economic Development), has ever growing competences. “We are the entrance key to the territory for national and international investments. We represent the Regional Delegation of the AFII (Invest in France Agency) with which there exists a specific convention aimed at capturing and drawing to the Languedoc-Roussillon all types of investments,” explains Agnès Tixier.
The missions of Invest Sud de France are of three types: promoting the attraction of French and foreign investments, facilitating the setting up of businesses in the region, and ensuring the promotion of regional economic attractiveness.
One of the interests of the structure is that it is the single interlocutor for the company head. By dealing with just one entity, administrative procedures are significantly simplified. Whether for development in the food industry, industry, new technologies or other streams, the agency offers a structured service offer – the Invest Package – to provide customised support for investment projects: real-estate and property searches, as well as sectorial expertise. “We also offer strategic, legal and accounting advice. Another service we offer that is particularly appreciated consists in putting clients in touch with all local economic players, whether public bodies or business clubs,” emphasises Agnès Tixier.
Invest Sud de France also provides assistance for professional mobility. All issues relating to relocation, employee rehousing and family support are tackled. Helping in the search for partners is another aspect of the offer, as well as financial engineering. Agnès Tixier specifies that “we take care to coordinate all support that can be provided when dealing with authorities to accompany a business project”.
Not all services for businesses are offered directly by Invest Sud de France. The body collaborates with selected service providers, as is the case for employee mobility. These professionals stand out for their conscientiousness and, of course, their confidentiality. But “we remain the company head’s single contact in all cases,” she adds. The same goes for support in staff recruitment, for Invest Sud de France benefits from a convention with Pôle Emploi that makes available a contact to answer questions on recruitment issues in different job pools.
Invest Sud de France is an association governed by the French 1901 law on associations. It is a private structure that is nevertheless primarily financed by the Languedoc-Roussillon region in its economic development capacity. The organisation works in partnership with the DATAR (Inter-ministerial Delegation for Territorial Development and Regional Attractiveness) and the AFII, and works closely with all territorial authorities as well as technology transfer clusters, investment companies, business groupings and the whole of the region’s economic and scientific fabric.
“The presence of company heads in our board of directors – alongside other members such as the regional authorities, the MEDEF (French employers’ organisation), the Comité des Banques (Banking Commission), Chambers of Commerce, the State – demonstrates the economic world’s involvement in this structure’s functioning. A group wishing to set up in our region is more confident in the face of an entity that itself includes company heads,” specifies Agnès Tixier. “This is therefore a vector for appropriation. Contact between project owners is also facilitated by this atypical configuration.”
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