Marseille-Hamburg: 60 Years of Twinning Celebrated by a Special Official Mission



Marseille and Hamburg have a lot in common. They are both outward-looking port towns and hotspots of international trade, with a reputation for culture and creativity. In 2018, the year of the 60th anniversary of the twinning of these two cities, several events have been organized to celebrate this emblematic example of French-German cooperation. An official mission jointly led by the Marseille Provence Chamber of Trade and Industry (CCI), the Aix-Marseille Provence Metropolis, and the City of Marseille, is taking place at this very moment and until September 28 in Hamburg. The topics and meetings are linked to various domains: culture, economy, tourism, training, youth, and sustainable urban development. As a partner of this mission, Provence Promotion will be participating in the conference for economic promotion and the workshop on the theme of the AfricaLink network. With the meeting of its counterpart “Hamburg Invest”, the mission promises enriching debates, complemented by BtoB meetings.

A French-German Alliance with Hamburg

In April, Provence Promotion welcomed a delegation of German companies to Provence, including the BavAIRia and Hamburg Aviation aeronautics clusters. And the economic development agency is pursuing its strategy of prospection in Germany by participating actively in the official mission in Hamburg, organized in the framework of the 60th anniversary of the twinning between the two cities.

To convince German investors to back companies that want to establish themselves in Provence, the agency and its partners will be present at the economic promotion conference on September 27, 2018 at the Meridien Hotel. Several companies**, including the company HOM, will explain the attractiveness of Aix-Marseille Provence to an audience of Swiss and German decision makers.

Sartorius Stedim Biotech, Matrium, Made4Home and more widely recognized names such as Haribo, Lidl, Aldi and Siemens, are the other big German companies present on the territory. In total, nearly a hundred German companies have chosen Provence as a base for their growth and business development. It should be noted that Germany is France’s number one trade partner and its second biggest investor with 208 projects in 2017. Provence Promotion is aware of this potential and considers Germany as its second target country, as shown by the recent launch of a German version of its website.

A new angle focused on economy and innovation

The new angle of cooperation between Marseille and Hamburg concentrates on :

  • developing trade with Africa via Marseille, proposing R&D partnerships in the key sectors of aeronautics and health,
  • cooperating on environmental issues such as mobility by creating more intelligent and sustainable means of getting around a city. Another key topic is to seek innovative and environmentally-friendly river and rail transport solutions for the port traffic.
    This is the angle of the business meetings scheduled by Provence Promotion, concerning sectors such as transport, metrology, and sustainable development.

In the digital sphere, Aix-Marseille is a hub of French Tech that offers many advantages, with a high concentration of expertise and top quality facilities. The visit of the new virtual reality center in Hamburg will be the chance to create ties between two ecosystems of digital entrepreneurs with a focus on creative industries.

The meeting with the agency « Hamburg Invest » and the workshop presenting the AfricaLink network with the start-up Netwwokie’s testimony, are two other high points of this mission for Provence Promotion. The objective is to encourage exchanges between Provence and Hamburg and to bring about new, mutually beneficial opportunities in the technological and economic spheres.

* HOM, Airbus Développement, InnatePharma, MacAndrews (subsidiary of CMA-CGM), Idéol, and AMFT.