Bretagne (FR) Navarra (ES) Puglia (IT)
Flanders (BE) Nyugat-Dunantul (HU) Schleswig-Holstein (DE)
Lower Austria (AT, lead partner) Provence-Alpes-Côte d´Azur (FR) Wielkopolska (PL)


Provence-Alpes-Côte d´Azur (FR)

With a unique geo-strategic position in the arch of the Mediterranean, PACA is the third region in France in terms of GDP (118 billion) and the 17th in Europe.

Despite its high productivity (26th in Europe), the region records one of the highest unemployment rates in France (about 11%).

PACA economy is a rather mosaic one with a number of different economic sectors ranging from the Aeronautic industry and microelectronics to agriculture. However, the service sector is the strongest one, accounting for 80% of regional firms.

Highly attractive for foreign capital, PACA hosts 1100 foreign controlled companies, which entails a strong economic dependency: 33% of companies settled in PACA have their headquarters located abroad.

Another peculiarity of PACA economic profile is provided by the extremely significant level of Very Small Enterprises (94% of total companies), while less that 1% of companies employ more than 500 people.

Two of the largest metropolitan centres in France are situated in PACA, Marseilles/ Aix-en-Provence (1, 3 million of inhabitants) and Nice (0,9 million of inhabitants), bipolarising the local economic activities.

PACA, with its 6 Universities, a wide number of laboratories (INSERM, CNRS, INRIA, INRA, CEA, etc) and 15 000 researchers (distributes 50% in the private and 50% in the public sector) is the 3rd region in France for R&D staff and the 4th in terms of public- private expenditure (2247 M€ in 2004). Tough, the region faces the challenge of translating its potential into new products and services, alias economic development. In fact, the technology transfer capacity and the production of patents still stay weak.

Further, companies’ growth constitutes a major defy. The number of middle-sized companies is still too limited. The availability of seed capital, the weak companies’ capital structure and the lack of management expertise are the main issues hampering regional firms’ growth capacity.