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Manufacturing Industry

Connected to Germany and Central Europe, Eastern France is a cradle of French industry. Metallurgy and mechanics, textiles in the Vosges mountains, have allowed the emergence of big names such as Alstom, Schlumberger, DMC or Pont-à-Mousson. This tradition continues and makes Eastern France the second largest industrial centre in France and the region attracting the most foreign investment in manufacturing. 

French and international industrial leaders: 

Renault, Stellantis, Total, Faurecia, Valéo, Magna, Schaeffler, SEW, Hanon, Kuhn, Merck, Lilly, Novartis, Liebherr, Continental, Mercedes, INEOS, Nestlé, … 

Access to the European market!

International groups have chosen Eastern France to have a platform for the vast European market thanks to the region’s central location and its linguistic and cultural resources.

A dense, diversified and dynamic network of service providers and subcontractors:

Automotive, railways, agro-industry, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, energy, etc. constitute dynamic clusters bringing together large groups, ETIs and SMEs, which find an ecosystem of industrial subcontractors and services adapted to their needs on site. 

Dense and modern infrastructure 

Rail, air, road, water (Rhine-Moselle) and fibre networks provide companies with the greatest facilities at the best cost! The deployment of 5G has started in several cities, and the cost of electricity is the most competitive in Europe.

Available expertise:

5 universities and 30 engineering schools welcome more than 200,000 students and 12,000 researchers, enabling companies to innovate with the support of public authorities (research tax credit, aid for collaborative innovation, training aid, etc.). Apprenticeships in companies facilitate the integration of young people.

A ‘pro-business’ public policy

The State and local authorities have implemented fiscal and social reforms as well as incentive programmes to stimulate the establishment and development of international companies. These public policies help to strengthen industry in France.  

Industry figures for Eastern France

Share of employees by activity – Eastern France / France excluding Île de France : 

  • Metallurgy: 141,555 in 2019, i.e. 12.2% of French salaried employment in this sector outside Île de France 
  • Food processing: 30,322, i.e. 9.5% of French salaried employment in this sector outside Île de France
  • Chemicals: 17,333, i.e. 9.5% of French salaried employment in this sector outside Île de France 
  • Plastics: 15,328, i.e. 10.4% of French salaried employment in this sector outside Île de France 
  • Paper and cardboard: 10,889, i.e. 19.4% of French salaried employment in this sector outside Île de France  
  • Textiles: 9,644, i.e. 11.3% of French salaried employment in this sector outside Île de France 
  • Printing: 4,785, i.e. 11.3% of French salaried employment in this sector outside Île de France  
  • Total industrial activities: 229,856, i.e. 11.5% of French salaried employment in this sector outside Île de France  
  • All sectors combined: 1,382,351, i.e. 10.2% of French salaried employment in this sector outside Île de France  

Source : L’industrie en Grand Est, Tableaux de bord | Décembre 2020, OREF 

Total exports of Eastern France in 2018: 64.7 billion euros – industry represents 96.3% of total exports.

Of which :  

  • Mechanical, electrical, electronic and computer equipment: €13.8 billion – 15.4% (3rd largest exporting region in France) 
  • Transport equipment: 12 billion euros – 10.7% (3rd largest national ranking) 
  • Food industry products: 7.3 billion euros – 10.7% (1st national rank) 
  • All industrial sectors: 62.3 billion euros – 13.6% (2nd national rank) 
  • Other industrial products: 29 billion euros – 15.1% (3rd national rank) 
  • Other industrial products” sub-sector: 29 billion euros – 15.1%, i.e. 3rd national rank. Of which :  
  • Metallurgical products and metal products = 9.5 
  • Chemicals, perfumes and cosmetics = 9.5 
  • Pharmaceutical products = 7.7 
  • Textiles, clothing, leather and footwear = 5.7 
  • Rubber and plastic products, miscellaneous mineral products = 4.6 
  • Wood, paper and cardboard = 3.2 
  • Other industrial products = 44.9

Source : Les entreprises du Grand Est à l’international – Observatoire Régional du Commerce International Données 2018 CCI GRAND EST 

Weight of foreign-owned companies in Eastern France / in the industry sector

Approximately 2,500 subsidiaries of foreign companies representing more than 135,000 employees are present in Eastern France

18% of employment in Eastern France depends on companies with foreign capital (1st region)