French industrial market: a factor of economic attractiveness

In the age of digital, start-ups, where France has abandoned the power of its industry to base its economy on the tertiary, it should be remembered that not all great successes are digital… Thus, restoring a certain balance to diversify its activities and divide its risks may be a good idea.

In Gironde, the potential of the industrial sector market is only intensifying. Companies were even creating to fill the gaps in a sector that has something to do with it. And this, including at the international level.

Taking advantage of an important dynamism that carries its message outside our borders, the industry is growing. The same can be said of all sectors of activity. Developments and research allow us to push the boundaries of progress a little further.

The industrial economy in Gironde

Today, the girondine industry is growing. New training centres for industry trades are flourishing everywhere. They are training the talents of tomorrow, and it is easy to see the increase in investment in R&D.

The industry is making more money, with margins revised upwards. Also a stabilized payment period, offering comfort to departmental and regional companies.

Thus, investments and order books are up in 2019 (10), after having decreased slightly in 2017 and 2018. According to the Bordeaux CCI, the results recorded in the third quarter of 2017 were down, with a loss of 8 points. This is directly related to this decline in order volumes and the rise in raw materials.

Same impact on cash flow which remained at equilibrium before experiencing a loss of 10 points. Despite this, the forecasts leave us confident about the future with an estimated increase for these two midfielders of 18 and 2 points respectively.

The decline in a company’s activity also has a significant impact on the number of employees. They have been gradually declining in recent months, reaching a loss of 4 points. But forecasts are forecasting an 8-point gain in the coming months.

Thanks to employment and investment, however, forecasts remained more optimistic, with an increase in indicators for the coming months. Also, in the department, the Bordeaux metropolis is not the only one to do well. In fact, the districts of Arcachon and Blaye recorded the best results in mid-2019 (10).

Investments energize the industry

The only resolutely positive point: investments. Technical progress, the quality of French know-how, and new needs lead to significant investments in research and development (33%). Forecasts point to stable figures in the coming months.

The Gironde industry is also the pharmaceutical industry. Thus, France is the second European market behind Germany. In 2015, according to LEEM studies, the Nouvelle Aquitaine region was one of the most dynamic regions in terms of jobs in this sector.

6% of the employees present in the region, or 5880 people are there. It is still far behind the Île de France and the Rhône-Alpes region.

Companies such as Ceva Santé Animalehave also been able to establish themselves on the pharmaceutical industry market. They are constantly looking to innovate through a great deal of research and development. To do this, they work in partnership with private organizations, research institutes but also with universities. A company that seeks both the well-being of its employees, the relationship with the customer, as well as the innovation phase in products aimed at veterinary care.

It should be noted, however, that France is falling behind internationally. Thus, long the leader with Germany, it could well lose places to Italy and Germany by 2023. Similarly, while the pharmaceutical industry in other countries shows a growth in turnover of the order of 3 to 4%, the growth in France is much slower (0.5%).

It therefore occupied the first place in value until 2008 (20 years at the top of the ranking) but has since already lost 4 places. (11)

Successes and concerns of the French industrial sector

However, while many signals seem to be green, some key sectors such as the automotive and space industry are worrying. They have an uncertain future. Indeed, the production rates required are very difficult to maintain for the supply chain.

They require permanent surge work. The drastic drop in production of certain aircraft and helicopters such as the A380 or the A330 could quickly jeopardize the fragile stability of suppliers to groups such as Dassault or Safran.

Aeronautics is a key sector of the regional and departmental industry. In the third quarter of 2017, it experienced a significant decline, while there was a significant increase in the second quarter of the same year. This was due to foreign competition causing the Airbus Group to take a shortness of breath, which was experiencing a decrease in aircraft orders.

The Covid-19 crisis, the shutdown of factories and the closure of airports are also not helping to get back on a good footing.

One of the sectors that breathes after having been in trouble for a long time is the wood industry sector. After several years with the indicators in the red, the wood is experiencing a gradual recovery. With more than 8,000 employees in Gironde (source INSEE 2013), the girondine wood sector is the most important in terms of jobs. But it is not the most represented in the region with less than 3% of total jobs.

This area has suffered as a result of natural disasters, including storms that have damaged forests and numerous wooded areas, resulting in higher timber prices and the scarcity of quality available raw materials. Trades around the building, furniture or even the paper factory suffered, but since the second quarter of 2016, the phenomenon has reversed and the wood industry begins its growth.

Multiple industries in the territory of Girona

Companies such as Smurfit Kappa, the pulp mill in Biganos, and Integral Bois, builders of wooden buildings,are experiencing an increase in activity and are now embarking on an innovation approach that requires investment. Today, their job is to increase their visibility in the market. This is in order to attract investors and thus promote their long-term development.

On the other hand, some entities raise some concerns. This is particularly the case for Ford Aquitaine Industrie. Indeed, since 2014, the company has made a promise to keep 1,000 jobs on its production site. A promise it kept until the end of 2016.

As her quota was not respected, she found herself obliged to pay damages to the CGT. This condemnation and the decline in the center’s activity jeopardized the 920 jobs of FAI. In July 2019, the end of production was marked, followed quickly by the permanent closure of the plant.

Boosting channels, accompanied on the territory

The Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Bordeaux Gironde wants to highlight the industry of its territory. She is involved in many events that allow the exchange, meetings and promotion of the industry.

It does not hesitate to highlight brands that promote local manufacturing. For example, “Made at home in Gironde”. (12)

Beyond the local creation, it is a showcase of the expertise and quality of the girondine industry since 2013. Companies that come together under this local brand are honoured every year. Especially on the occasion of Industry Week. We find Cacolac, Unikalo, Nanni Industries or PNY Technologies.

Industry Week has been one of the must-see events since 2011. It attracts new talent into the industry to boost employment. It develops this very promising sector, with problems directly related to current national and even international issues. Thus, ecology was already at the heart of the 2017 edition!

She wanted to highlight energy efficiency, or renewable energies and the circular economy, which are themes that are increasingly evoked in the company.

Since then, the environmental dimension of industries has remained at the heart of concerns. Thus, the third economic meetings of green growth, in December 2019, focused on safeguarding biodiversity. (13)

Supporting industrial companies in their development

In the same spirit of support on the territory, we can note the initiative of the UIMM Nouvelle-Aquitaine(Union of industries and trades of metallurgy). It supports the development of the “future” industries. OPTIM’Indus (an acronym for Optimization, Performance, Transformation, Innovation, and Industrial Modernization), in partnership with the European Union, the New Aquitaine Regional Council and OPCAIM.

This project is now being launched in order to be able to support companies in the development of their performance and competitiveness. They receive tailor-made advice to meet all challenges. This action project is broken down into three points. The support of projects, but also the development of skills within the company and that of the professional networks of managers.

The same is true in the agri-food industry in Gironde, with the AGROSMARTGlobal programme (14). This project seeks to develop projects brought together companies from the agri-food sector in the Nouvelle-Aquitaine area, Spain and Portugal. Together, the initiatives could penetrate the Asian and North American digital markets. Achievable in the short term, this program is planned for 2020-2022.

Innovating to sustain the industry

Industry is a broad field that concentrates many trades in different sectors. Digital, automotive, chemical, armament and agri-food are examples of booming sectors. The question then arises of their evolution in the years to come.

Take as an example the food sector,which is particularly disrupted by the digital transition. The difficulty of certain trades in this sector, traceability but also the evolution of local, regional, national and international markets show the challenges certain of the agri-food that digital can fill.

At present, digital technology is more efficient and efficient. But it also makes it possible to innovate in an increasingly competitive sector in order to establish itself on the market

The jewels of French industry in New Aquitaine

The 7th edition of Industry Week took place from 20 to 26 March 2017 in New Aquitaine and throughout France. Organized by the Ministry of Economy and Finance, as well as the DGE, it aims to strengthen the attractiveness of French industry as well as that of its trades. A week of raising awareness among young people and tomorrow’s workers about the areas of the future that industry is part of. Finally, this week of Industry values the mix in these companies hithermed by men. A way to review the place and involvement of women in French industrial activity.

Ecology and the future of women

This year 2017, Industry Week highlights the issue of ecology to encourage industries to reduce their polluting emissions and the waste they can produce.

During this week, more than 200 events were held in the New Aquitaine region on various and varied topics such as the industry of the future or the circular economy.

In Gironde, the main conference is entitled : “Women: the passion of the industry”. It highlights the workforce and women’s knowledge in this sector, where women are still under-represented. But this was not the only theme discussed in Gironde during this week. Indeed, to raise awareness among young people about the industrial environment, the Region has launched a large photo contest in the heart of industrial companies aimed at students. The goal? to make them discover the other side of the scene, and can be to inspire a new look and ambitions for the future…

Concept human industry metal works
Beyond the Factory of the Future, the know-how and involvement of men is an industrial wealth. Photograph: S. 72

Industry, the economic lung of New Aquitaine

Laurent MAUMELAT led a conference on the orientation towards these professions that are at the heart of French activity, occupations that recruit more and more people, followed by a forum that aimed to promote the meeting between job seekers or future active workers with companies and executives looking for their future employees.

En Nouvelle-Aquitaine, ce domaine n’est pas à négliger : en effet, 12% de l’emploi régional provient de l’industrie, ce qui représente pas moins de 284 000 emplois sur l’ensemble de la région. De plus, avec la forte vague de départs à la retraite, d’ici 2020, l’industrie est un secteur à fort impact sur le marché du travail, proposant des carrières stables : 9 contrats sur 10 sont des CDI.

The industry is one of the economic lungs of our country which makes it a nation with poles of excellence (automotive, aeronautics…). Industry Week attracts more visitors each year, curious and involved. The latter can leave with an interview to a job, an alternation or an internship, especially in New Aquitaine where participation has literally exploded (100,000 people between 2015 and 2016).

This is a good indicator that the heart of French industry will continue to beat for a long time to come.


News Release New Aquitaine Region “Launch of the 7th edition of Industry Week”

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