As we can see Business meetings and gatherings for the attraction of Californian investors in Provence are already in full swing.

After several months of planning, the Aix-Marseille Metropolitan Area’s joint mission to Florida is going strong. Provence Promotion is among the large number of delegates on a mission on which local government representatives, major economic stakeholders and business leaders take on the role as ambassadors for their region to enhance its international profile. While a cooperation agreement has just been signed between Miami-Dade County and Aix-Marseille Provence and ties are closening in the field of tourism, the economic development agency is busy attending B2B meetings to attract potential investors. Other meetings with heads of networks, opinion leaders and innovation stakeholders are also being arranged in order to complete its market research campaign and local strategy.

Since arriving in Miami on Sunday November 5th, the ambassadors in the delegation have had only one thing in mind – conquering Florida! Provence Promotion hit the ground running, with a first series of meetings taking place at the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show, a key event in the calendar for boat designers, builders and yacht brokers from all over the world.

Like Florida, Provence is a region of excellence for the yacht and shipbuilding industries. For many years, it has invested in developing activities related to the maintenance and repair of yachts, superyachts and cruise ships. It’s a strategy that has already proved fruitful, with the influx of a considerable amount of foreign investment such as, recently Lürssen/Blohm & Voss in La Ciotat and Carnival, the new shareholder in the Chantier Naval de Marseille, who has invested €10M in the N°10 Dry Dock alongside the Italian company San Giorgio Del Porto.

The agency also wanted to make connections with the heads of some of the local networks. The meetings held with the U.S. Superyacht Association and the Marine Industries Association of South Florida have been especially rewarding. Discussions are underway to organize a visit of network entrepreneurs to the Aix-Marseille Provence Metropolitan Area.

Improving Industry Ties

Increasing business opportunities in sectors where the two regions share common interests is at the very heart of this trade mission. Which is why Provence Promotion, the agency supporting the Metropolitan Area’s investors, also targeted the digital and aerospace sectors, making contact with two major American clusters, Florida High Tech Corridor and Space Florida.

The aim is to showcase the key projects and leading companies in these sectors and to outline the major developments that have taken place in the region, in particular those connected with Euroméditerranée, Henri-Fabre, the French Tech scheme and the recently-opened theCamp, a center dedicated to innovation, digital technologies and the smart city.

For the President of the Aix-Marseille-Provence Metropolitan Area Jean-Claude Gaudin, and its first Vice-President Martine Vassal, one of the main features of the mission is the signing of a “sister city” agreement” the first with a US city and, likewise, Miami’s first twinning agreement with a city in France. The agreement, signed on November 6, will facilitate exchanges in fields such as trade, culture and economic development.

Provence Investments Open the Gates to Europe

If Miami is known as the gateway to the United States, then Provence is a window to Europe and it’s this vast consumer market that the agency also relies upon to catch the attention of investors.

The key arguments put forward, such as the region’s geo-strategic position, its value as a world hub, its high-growth technology firms and even its advantages in terms of logistics have already struck a responsive chord. Three companies have already decided to undertake further studies with a view to setting up in Provence and are due to visit the region within the next three months.

Over the total number of meetings (around a dozen), several were attended by Jean-Luc Chauvin, President of Provence Promotion and of the Marseille Provence CCI, giving further weight to the promotional drive and demonstrating to businesses that each and every stakeholder is committed to ensuring their needs are taken into account.