Ardennes an authentic and innovative territory

Bordering Belgium and Luxembourg, the Ardennes have many assets. Opportunities to develop are numerous, including its industrial tradition, its dynamic economic environment and its cultural heritage.  

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Ardennes has capitalised on its privileged geographical location and its know-how to promote business internationally.

Employment areas

As a mosaic of rural soils and towns on a human scale, Ardennes concentrates most of its activity on three complementary basins.

Ardenne Métropole


Charleville-Mézières and Sedan are the two largest towns in Ardennes, about 20 kilometers apart, form an important urban unit, where industry and tourism are the predominant sectors.  


179 456
from Luxembourg


The third economic centre of the Ardennes, Rethel is located in the heart of the region and benefits from good access to Paris, the other cities of Eastern France, and the international market.

The RETEL Employement area in 2017

58 704
from Paris


As the last town on the Meuse before Belgium, Givet benefits from a remarkable strategic position, as evidenced by its river port allowing the connection of large barges with the ports of northern Europe (Antwerp, Liège, Rotterdam)

31 541
from Bruxelles South

Infrastructure and connectivity

As border territory, Ardennes is connected by river, land and rail to the major cities in the region as well as European capitals.  

  • Direct low-speed TGV between Charleville-Mézières and Paris (1 hour 40 minutes)
  • Fast access to the A4 Reims-Paris, and links to Lille, Brussels and Strasbourg
  • A34 / A304 / E41: strategic motorway route with direct access to the Belgian motorway network and the major North Sea ports.

Economic sectors, research and training

The industrial tradition is still very present in Ardennes: from metallurgy to luxury and the bioeconomy. With an international focus, it bases its excellence on the competence of subcontractors (automotive, rail, aeronautics, defence, etc. ) present in the territory, as well as on research and training.

Platinium 3D industrial additive manufacturing platform

Agriculture: livestock, cereals, sugar beet, milk production, methanation plants

Campus Sup Ardenne (technology, management, commercial) and EiSINe (School of Industrial and Digital Sciences)  

They are located in the Ardennes:

Veneer and wood panel manufacturing
Production of biscuits, rusks and pastries (Production of LU trays)
Manufacture of other dairy products
Canelia (Lactalis)
Production of other dairy products
Production of drinks
Industrial equipments

Tourism and quality of life   

The valleys of the Meuse and Semoy, of all beauty, winding through the Massif de l’Ardenne, covered by a majestic forest, landscapes that breathe serenity: the Ardennes are full of nature getaways that make it a territory where it is good to recharge your batteries.

The Ardennes is also a remarkable historical heritage, with the majestic and emblematic Sedan Fortress, voted the favourite monument of the French in 2023 or memorial sites marked by the Great War. The industrial heritage is also increasingly highlighted, such as the Ardennes Metallurgical Museum in Bogny-sur-Meuse.

Rimbaud’s birthplace, the territory is also very culturally active, with many quality festivals and museums. 

  • Culture: World Festival of Puppet Theatres, Cabaret Vert, Rimbaud Museum, Sedan Fort, Vauban Fort, Rocroi Fort, Charlemont Fort and memorial sites taken over by the War and Peace Museum,
  • Gastronomy: 2 PGI (dry ham of the Ardennes and white boudin of Rethel), many craft beers, cheeses. . .
  • Leisure, nature and sport: regional nature park, nautical activities (Lake of Vieilles Forges and Lake of Bairon), cycling route, river tourism, Argonne Discovery Park, Terr’Altitude (fantasticable)

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