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French markets for finnish companies

BusinessFinland’s France-delegation at BusinessAsema

The event at BusinessAsema 8.2.2023 started with brief introduction to Oulu-Region’s today’s state. The purpose of the meeting was to hear opportunities from France for our finnish companies, but also introduce a couple of companies of their interest to them. There were JOT Automation, Bittium, Kaltiot, Pro Wellness and Hirsiset presented.

Henriikka Yliheljo from BusinessFinland started their presentation telling about the mission of BusinessFinland, which is providing funding for research, development and innovation activities. They support exports and internationalization, attract investments to Finland and promote tourism to Finland. They also help companies entering the french market.

France is the second largest market in Europe, and situated in top 10 as trade-partner with 3 billion euros of export an growing. There are approximately 100 finnish companies in france. Healthcare is the 2nd largest market in France and there’s 19 billion investment plan for it in France. They have strong focus on digitalization and 5th largest healtcare-technology export in Finland. “Digitalization has really taken off!” says Yliheljo. ICT-services represent about 20% of finnish exports to France. “Many finnish ICT companies are established in France; F Secure, Lyyti, IQM and Wirepas, for example.” Hot topics at the moment in France are AI, big data, cloud, 5G, connectivity, IoT and so on.

Trends in theme of industry 4.0 are digitalization, decarbonization, industralization. Smaller companies have true opportunities to break into french market with creative, innovative solutions and also scalable services and technologies. The french are really open to that if it is better or more cost efficient. Second largest industry in France is automotive.

The Santexpo trade fair is coming in 23-25 May 2023 in Paris.

OECD Procurement day for Finnish companies and exports are held in Paris (also online) 16th Feb 2023.

The next presentation about batteries was by Xavier Riquier, the senior advisor at BusinessFinland Paris office. There are several battery-gigafactories to be built in France; ACC, Envision AESC and Verkor are the big three. There will be a battery-event in Renault factory in Flins April 2023 TBC. It will include pitch-sessions and B2B meetings with Renault team. “Huge opportunity with the big people.” says Riquier.

The next topic was mining. There are three main mining companies in France. Also nuclear forms 70% of the energy used and produced in France. The high percentage is based on energy-security, which is very relevant topic in today’s world. With that said, France is almost self sufficient in energy production.

Webinar for finnish companies about nuclear is held March 22th.

Low carbon built environment is also a hot topic and France is one of the biggest construction markets in Europe.

Event of the subject is held in The Embassy of Finland, in Paris March 21th 2023.

Also creation of low carbon production event is too in The Embassy of Finland, Paris Apr 12th.

Cybersecurity for manufacturing, potential partners for matchmaking event in held in Embassy of Finland, Paris in June TBC.

Aeronautics is the second largest exporter with 22% in the worldwide market. “There are huge market opportunities on that field.” says Riquier. Space industy in France is the 2nd largest contributor to ESA.

Marine Devos tells about large ecological and energy transition investments in France. “There’s a need to accelerate towards greener transition!” they say. Recovery and resilience France plan is 100 billion. Bio- and circular economy is one big field right now. Recycling sector is booming with 547M investments. It gives France 10,8 billion euros of revenue yearly. Also public investments for the field is 370M.

Other opportunities on waste sector are biowaste, simplification of waste sorting. Also opportunities include packaging and plastic, microplastics, paper and printing. France is actually banning surtain plastics for reducing microplastics in the environment.

Circular economy in water sector forms a need of technology for treated water reuse, smart tech for water saving via sensors, AI and IoT. On of the themes were de-polluting and de-carbonizing in Lyon and waste to energy -mindset.

In maritime-theme, France is the 5th largest ship-builder in EU and 13th worldwide, with annual revenue of 32 billion. France itself has 11 ports. 5th largest port in France is a pioneer of digitalizating that field. In the future, there will be addition of digital cyber security. A webinar for decarbonizing the maritime industry will be organized 2023 GICAN.

Oonagh Allas-Murphy presented us sustainability field in France. “Customers notice packaging material and demand ethical food.” Allas-Murphy explained. Customers make sustainable choices of what to buy and what not to buy. Plant based products are going strong right now. The growth opportunities are organic berries, food-tech, superfoods and snacking for example. Market trends include sustainability, reducing carbon footprint, reducing single use plastic and circular economy. Allas-Murphy also mentioned consumer business and focus topics of empathic design, workplace of the future and Finnish design.

An event for sports-tech, wellness, esports etc is Vivatech, which is Slush-like event but bigger. It will be happening annually in Paris June 14-17th.