Nouvelle-Aquitaine, a great place to live and do business!

Nouvelle-Aquitaine is a region boosting with opportunities. Strategically located on Europe’s North-South logistics itinerary, with a vibrant Bordeaux metropolis only 2hrs from Paris, a growing population, and an exceptional quality of life.

As France’s largest region with 84 000 km² and 3rd largest regional economic power, Nouvelle-Aquitaine benefits from a rich and diverse natural and economic ecosystem ideal for businesses to thrive. 

Nouvelle-Aquitaine’s booming economy is due to a growing population (population of 5.8 million), an expanding transportation system led by an ambitious region leveraging innovation and undertaking major infrastructure projects. 

The region is best-known as a leader in various fields, including the e-health, silver economy, aeronautics, food industry, tourism, eco-technology, materials and laser technology.

French map and his countries neighbour  

It offers affordable real estate with low business set-up expenses, an average of 20-30% below costs in Paris.

Businesses can access European markets easily with the High Speed Train connecting Paris to Bordeaux in 2 hours (through Angoulême, Poitiers and Châtellerault), 7 international airports with an expanding number of direct international connections, 4 commercial ports, navigable rivers and multimodal freight hubs.

The region is world renowned for its exceptional quality of life with the region’s extensive, well-preserved natural areas ranging from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pyrenees Mountain range.

An accessible region and competitive infrastructures

Located in the Southwest of France, Nouvelle-Aquitaine ranges from the Atlantic coast to the Spanish border. It is strategically located on Europe's North-South logistics itinerary. With extensive, modern transportation infrastructures, the region is easily accessible from European economic capitals, putting companies close to their markets:

Airport Connections

  • 11 airports including 7 international airports (Bordeaux, Biarritz, Pau, Limoges, La Rochelle, Poitiers, Bergerac)
  • 60+ international routes with daily or weekly service including
  • Growing number of low-cost airlines

Rail Connections

  • High Speed Train South-Europe Atlantic connecting major cities to Paris :
    • Poitiers - Paris : 1h18
    • Châtellerault - Paris : 1h24 
    • Angoulême - Paris : 1h43 
    • Bordeaux - Paris : 2h04 
    • La Rochelle - Paris : 2h26 
    • Agen - Paris : 3h10 
    • Bayonne - Paris : 3h53 
    • Pau - Paris : 4h09
  • 3 000 km or rail networks (315 rail stations)

Road Connections

  • North-South and East-West expressway networks (A10, A20, A62, A63, A64, A65, A83, A89) 

Port Connections

  • 4 ports of trade (Bordeaux, Bayonne, La Rochelle, Rochefort et Tonnay-Charente)
  • Links to 300 ports worldwide

A growing and dynamic economy

  • 3rd economic region in France with GDP of 158 billion euros
  • 10 competitiveness clusters
  • 1st region in France in R&D
  • More than 46 000 companies created in 2016
  • More than 22 million euros exported

Nouvelle-Aquitaine is the top French region in defense aeronautics, the top European region for civilian drone testing and is a leader in launchers, military aircraft and business aircraft. Leading companies in the region include Dassault Aviation, Airbus Defense & Space, Stelia, Saft, Toray, Photonis, JV Group.

As the leading agricultural region in Europe and 2nd region in France for organic production, Nouvelle-Aquitaine is at the forefront of agricultural production with over 155 official quality labels. Thriving companies in the region include Andros, Blédina, Bijou, Charal, General Mills, Léa Nature, Lindt, LU, Rémy Martin

A cutting-edge region in the e-Health sector with international companies headquarters, a pool of hospital infrastructures, world-renowned research laboratories (Neurocampus, IHU LYRIC – cardiac rythmology institute), and leader in user-centered health experimentation with the regional e-health. Key companies include Agfa Healthcare France, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Maincare Solutions, B Braun France.

In the digital sector, the region has a leading ecosystem in silver economy, with its e-health cluster, high-quality research laboratories, major industrial players, and leadership in home automation. Key companies that chose our region are Aguila, Asobo, Cdiscount, Exelus, Imao, Solid Anim, Robosoft.

Nouvelle-Aquitaine is known as a “start-up” region with Bordeaux labelled “French Tech City” and  5 « French Tech thematic networks » : #CleanTech #Mobility  (Bordeaux); #EdTech#Entertainment (Angoulême-La Rochelle-Niort-Poitiers); #HealthTech (Limoges and Bordeaux) ; #Retail (Bordeaux) ; #Sport (basque-lande coast).

In the luxury business, the ceramics industry (Limoges), leather (Dordogne), the nautical sector (Bordeaux and La Rochelle) as well as wine and Cognac have worldwide reputations. 

10 competitiveness clusters : Aerospace Valley, ID4Car, Pôle Avenia, Smart Electricity Cluster, Pôle Européen de la Céramique, ViaMéca,  Agri Sud-Ouest, Alpha Route des Lasers, Cance-Bio-Santé, Xylofutur

Business sites of national interest, serviced business parks, business incubators and dedicated spaces for business development projects include: AGROPOLE (agriculture), CHEMPARC (chemicals), DOMOLANDES (digital + eco-construction), ESTER (materials, ceramics), FUTUROSCOPE (tourism and recreation, digital), EURATLANTIQUE (a sustainable urban development project on a European scale, part of the Bordeaux 2030 modernization plan of 738 ha).

1. A business-driven economy and strong potential market

  • 1st region in France for its investment in research and innovation
  • 3rd region in France for its economic activity (46 000 companies created in 2016)
  • Demographic growth
  • An expanding transportation system with a high-speed train connecting Paris to Bordeaux in 2h, 7 international airports, 4 ports of trade, multimodal platforms, developing tram system, etc… 
  • 20-30% lower business set-up costs than in Paris 
  • Over 56 consulates and diplomatic representatives, including Great Britain, Germany, Spain, Italie, United-States…

2. A family-oriented environment

  • Affordable real estate: Family homes with a pool, or apartments with open beams and gardens in the city center!
  • International schools (from kindergarten to high school)
  • Extensive, well-preserved natural areas ranging from the Atlantic to the Pyrenees that enjoys a southern climate
  • Leisure activities for every taste (skiing, hiking, surfing, golf, thalassotherapy, Francofolies, Comic book festival, Basque festivals, and more)
  • A multitude of cultural and touristic destinations (village of Saint-Emilion, Citadel of Blaye, Futuroscope, La Rochelle. Aquarium, Palmyre Zoo, Lascaux 2, Isle of Ré, Marais Poitevin), and numerous UNESCO heritage sites
  • Many towns and cities with fascinating identity and culture, including Bordeaux, Limoges, Pau, Bayonne, Biarritz, La Rochelle, Brive and Poitiers

3. A network of specialists at your service 

  • Gather business environment and market information
  • Search for land and real-estate solutions
  • Inquire about grants and subsidies
  • Connect with sector specialists 
  • Access local and regional networks
  • Seek support regarding administrative procedures
  • Job search for spouses


  • International schools (from kindergarten to high school) in main cities across the region: Bordeaux International School, International School of Béarn, Ecole Tunon…
  • Over 1,600 training programs offered in alternating apprenticeship from CAP professional certificate to 5-year university degrees (for 37,000 apprentices)

Higher Education

  • 195,000 students
  • 6 universities: La Rochelle, Poitiers, Limoges, Bordeaux, Bordeaux-Montaigne, Pau/Adour
  • 23 prestigious schools of higher education (15 engineering schools, 6 business schools and 2 “grandes écoles”). These institutes of higher education offer a wide range of specialized courses in a range of fields including: agriculture, aeronautics and space, ceramics, management, information processing, environment, geosciences, sustainable development, digital applications, luxury industry, and cognitive sciences.
  • International partnerships for students exchanges

Research and Development

Nouvelle-Aquitaine, 5th ranked region in France for domestic spending on R&D (€2,210 M), has more than 12,000 researchers and 20,000 jobs in research. The region regularly invests in infrastructure and equipment to provide ideal technological facilities to researchers from around the world.

  • 14 LabEx and 15 EquipEx (laboratories and teams of excellence)
  • Leading French Region in the proportion of its budget spent on R&D (after Paris region).
  • 20 research organizations : CNRS, INRA (agronomy), INSERM (medical), IFREMER (ocean), IRSTEA (environment), BRGM (geology)
  • 24 technology centers, CRITT (regional innovation and technology transfer center) and technological platforms

Examples of major labs and technological platforms

  • CANOE: Composite technology and advanced materials. Unique leader in France for high-performance, bio-sourced carbon fiber
  • XLIM: electronics, microwaves, optics, photonics
  • Institut Interdisciplinaire de Neurosciences - interdisciplinary neuroscience institute
  • CEA: atomic energy commission and alternative energy sources. PETAL laser, the most powerful energy laser in the world

Local opportunities

  • Commercial Real Estate Read more
  • Business ecosystem Read more
  • Legal & tax services Read more
  • Public funding & incentives Read more
  • Setting up facilitation Read more

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