If 2021 was generally seen as the year of recovery – it must be said that the numerous plans devoted to this have helped – this undoubtedly also points to more deeply rooted changes, including discrete ones, which, under the effect of an abrupt change in the global context revealed.
Among the induced effects of the pandemic, the ‘regionalization movement’ has prompted workers and managers to affirm and accelerate the fundamental movement that places quality of life as the main criterion for professional choice. Teleworking, now passed into the mores, necessarily help. A kind of urban escape that seems to be related not only to the pandemic, but to sustainable settlement. With the associated effects, in particular that of openly taking advantage of opportunities in the regions, of going to find talents where they are, in the countryside or on the outskirts of metropolises, or fearing a location outside Ile-de- France decides -production centers or regional capitals.
France, interlocutor number 1
This is also apparent from the data on the creation of companies published by Team Côte d’Azur, the economic development agency based in Nice, for the year 2021. A year that, if we observe it without further attention, is a year of recovery was, for some segments, even better results than in 2019, the reference year widely accepted as the last year before the crisis. This is, for example, the case for the jobs generated – higher than those in 2019 and 2015 – or the number of supported establishments exceeding the levels of 2019 and 2017 and almost reaching that of 2015. A total of 31 implementation projects were carried out, creating 1,228 jobs within three years. The revival is there, that’s for sure.
But the data for 2021 also reveals the market share that France represents. Where it appears – by comparing the data from the last three years – that if the context of the crisis has led to regionalization, the phenomenon was already part of the practice.
In 2021, 55% of the branches will be of French origin, while 29% will come from Europe (Monaco and Switzerland as priority) and 16% from the large international, the United States leading the way. Of the share of jobs created, 50% is generated by a French company, reinforcing the interest in attracting interest from France to Nice, Cannes or Sophia-Antipolis. In 2019, 80% of the establishments were of foreign origin. A trend reversal that was confirmed in 2020, where the international share represented 58% of the installations and still remained (a little) in the majority. Identical trend, in every sense of the word – which is not illogical – if we also consider the share of jobs, about 89% of an international nature in 2019, against 49% in 2021, after 74% in 2020.
Sectors that support the specificity of the Côte d’Azur
Jobs from, unsurprisingly, the large sectors of ICT and services, life sciences and cosmetics and cleantech. Because the Côte d’Azur has been able to generate ecosystems and the sectors are structured. The impact of achieving the 3IA label is undeniable. It has made visible an ecosystem that is there, but extremely scattered, scattered. That the national gaze, by granting it a recognized and rare label (only 4 territories can use it), clearly plays on its attractiveness, giving the Côte d’Azur a new perspective, and that always whets the appetite. The reasons underlying the settlements have also been confirmed. People always come to the Côte d’Azur to be a decision center (26% of the establishments) or an R&D center (23%), or to offer services to companies. And we must not forget here the great and central role of Nice Côte d’Azur airport, the second largest airport in France, which contributes greatly to the attractiveness of the area. Thanks ultra connectivity to the world…
And the sectors to watch, as they are likely to grow faster in the coming years, are software, AI, cybersecurity, fintechs, gaming and life sciences – knowing this includes e-health, biotechnology, nutricosmetics – and renewable energy sources as well as bluetech. Long-term topics also accompanied by the confirmation of a more opportunistic R&D strategy, on projects that are faster in time but more modest in size. This reinforces the policy of hubs spread over regions, concentrations in one and the same place that belong to a certain ‘before’ world. France, the first market for the Côte d’Azur or how to refute the saying that no one is a prophet in his country.