Although investments from the BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India and China) were stable in France in 2014, their nature is changing. Chinese investments, which represent 60% of all the projects developed by BRIC countries last year, followed the same pattern. In Paris in particular, new types of Chinese investment emerged, helping to create new jobs in the capital.
Having an office in Paris means that Chinese companies can fulfil several ambitions: they increasingly use French expertise to develop their products, they can develop their brands on an international scale, and they can fine-tune new technologies.
Having long been considered as the capital of fashion and luxury, Paris is the ideal location for Chinese companies in the sector who want to target... the Chinese market! They make use of French creativity and skill in the fashion sector to develop their products for the most demanding consumers. The arrival in recent years of the high-end Shanghai fashion brand ICICLE Fashion, or the luxury jewellery group Shenzhen TTF - Today, Tomorrow, For Ever, which has opened a design centre in the heart of Paris, a stone's throw from Place Vendôme, are evidence of this eagerness to meet the demands of the high-end client base in China.
Paris is also at the forefront of the finance sector. The major Chinese banks have been aware of the importance of developing their presence there for some years. Paris offers them exceptional business opportunities and contains the highest concentration of head offices of major international Fortune 500 companies. They can develop their business in the No. 1 economic region in the Eurozone. The major Chinese banks, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC), China Exim Bank and China Construction Bank, have recently opened branches in Paris, each creating several dozen jobs in the capital, in order to build closer relationships with their French and African customers.
Although two-thirds of foreign R&D investment in France is still carried out by European companies, Chinese new technology groups are demonstrating a growing interest in French skills in the sector: in March, Huawei, a global information and communication technology solutions provider, opened its first R&D centre in Paris, which focuses on design and aesthetics, and three other research centres were opened at the same time in France.
"Paris is the world leader in fashion and the arts, and the creative resources that have made Paris' reputation can now be applied to Huawei products worldwide. France is a vital part of our global innovation strategy," commented Ken Hu, Deputy Chairman and Rotating CEO of Huawei (photo).
Finally, the quality of the Parisian ecosystem of skills and innovation is expanding its international influence as far as the head offices of Chinese new technology companies: for example, the mobile games company Tap4Fun recently opened a development studio in Paris, employing a dozen people. Once again, the skills and knowledge provided by internationally renowned Paris universities made all the difference.